Purpose: This study aimed to determine the association between home visits by a dentist and regular oral hygiene management by a dental hygienist (regular dental management: RDM) and weight loss among older adults in long-term care facilities.
Methods: A total of 468 older residents from 26 Japanese long-term care facilities participated in two surveys in 2018 and 2019. Participants were divided into two groups based on their diet during the baseline survey (regular diet, n = 256; dysphagia diet, n = 212). Participants with a regular diet were further divided into those who exhibited a weight loss ≥ 5% over 1 year (weight loss group: n = 77) and those with a weight loss < 5% (consistent weight group: n = 179). The explanatory variables were age, sex, baseline weight, Barthel index, and clinical dementia rating, as well as the patients' medical history of pneumonia, stroke, diabetes, and depression (which is reportedly associated with weight). Additionally, a Poisson regression with robust standard error, was carried out to analyze the explanatory variables, namely the prevalence of RDM noted during the study and functional teeth (which seemed to affect weight loss).
Results: A multivariate analysis revealed that older residents' lack of RDM, clinical dementia assessment, and their history of pneumonia (prevalence rate ratio: 0.35, 95% confidence interval 0.24-0.95) were all significantly associated with weight loss when on a regular diet.
Conclusion: Thus, weight loss and RDM were related to each other. Weight loss may be suppressed by incorporating RDMs during the early nursing care for older residents on regular diets.
Keywords: Dysphasia diet; Facility residents; Long-term care; Regular dental management; Regular diet; Weight loss.
© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to European Geriatric Medicine Society.