Effects of the Co-occurrence of Diabetes Mellitus and Tooth Loss on Cognitive Function.

TitleEffects of the Co-occurrence of Diabetes Mellitus and Tooth Loss on Cognitive Function.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsLuo, H, Tan, C, Adhikari, S, Plassman, BL, Kamer, AR, Sloan, FA, Schwartz, MD, Qi, X, Wu, B
JournalCurrent Alzheimer Research
ISSN Number1875-5828
Keywordscognitive function, Dementia, Diabetes, effects of co-occurrence, Population, Tooth Loss

OBJECTIVE: Both diabetes mellitus (DM) and poor oral health are common chronic conditions and risk factors of Alzheimer's disease and related dementia among older adults. This study assessed the effects of DM and complete tooth loss (TL) on cognitive function, accounting for their interactions.

METHODS: Longitudinal data were obtained from the 2006, 2012, and 2018 waves of the Health and Retirement Study. This cohort study included 7,805 respondents aged 65 years or older with 18,331 person-year observations. DM and complete TL were self-reported. Cognitive function was measured by the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status. Random-effect regressions were used to test the associations, overall and stratified by sex.

RESULTS: Compared with older adults without neither DM nor complete TL, those with both conditions (b = -1.35, 95% confidence interval [CI]: -1.68, -1.02), with complete TL alone (b = -0.67, 95% CI: -0.88, -0.45), or with DM alone (b = -0.40, 95% CI: -0.59, -0.22), had lower cognitive scores. The impact of having both conditions was significantly greater than that of having DM alone (p < .001) or complete TL alone (p = 0.001). Sex-stratified analyses showed the effects were similar in males and females, except having DM alone was not significant in males.

CONCLUSION: The co-occurrence of DM and complete TL poses an additive risk for cognition. Healthcare and family-care providers should pay attention to the cognitive health of patients with both DM and complete TL. Continued efforts are needed to improve older adults' access to dental care, especially for individuals with DM.

Citation Key12218
PubMed ID34951384
PubMed Central IDPMC8810293
Grant ListR56 AG067619 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U01 DE027512 / DE / NIDCR NIH HHS / United States
1R56AG067619-01 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States