Association between oral function and physical pre-frailty in community-dwelling older people: a cross-sectional study

Asuka Tani, Shinsuke Mizutani, Saori Oku, Harukaze Yatsugi, Tianshu Chu, Xin Liu, Kiyomi Iyota, Hiro Kishimoto, Haruhiko Kashiwazaki

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Few studies have examined the relationship between oral functions and the physical pre-frailty status, classified using physical function tests. This cross-sectional study aimed to clarify this association among community-dwelling older people from the Itoshima Frail Study in Itoshima Fukuoka Prefecture. Methods: Of the 1,555 individuals invited to join the study, 381 (188 males and 193 females) enrolled. Their physical pre-frailty was assessed with a classification system consisting of two physical indicators (fatigue and unintentional weight loss, determined with a questionnaire), two functional components (declined walking speed and muscle weakness, determined using a body function measuring instrument), and declined physical activity (examined using a triaxial accelerometer). Subsequently, the individuals were classified into three groups: robust, pre-frailty, and frailty. Along with the number of teeth remaining, oral functions, such as masticatory performance, tongue pressure strength, and oral diadochokinesis (ODK), were examined. Data regarding social activity and exercise habits were collected, and the individuals’ body compositions were measured. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the physical pre-frailty were calculated using logistic regression models. Results: In this study, 126 (33%) participants presented with physical pre-frailty. The participants in the robust group were younger, had stronger maximum handgrip strength, and walked faster than those in the physical pre-frailty group (p < 0.001). The robust group presented with better oral functions (masticatory performance, p = 0.015; oral ODK /ta/, p = 0.004). The physical pre-frailty status was significantly associated with age (OR, 1.111; 95% CI, 1.048–1.178; p < 0.001), masticatory performance (OR, 0.819; 95% CI, 0.680–0.986; p = 0.035), low ODK/ta/ (OR, 1.864; 95% CI, 1.069–3.250; p = 0.028), and low social activity (OR, 2.273; 95% CI, 1.308–3.951; p = 0.004). Conclusion: This study indicated that older people with higher age, lower anterior tongue movement, lower masticatory performance, and lower social activity are positively associated with physical pre-frailty.

Original languageEnglish
Article number726
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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