Wearing removable dentures tied to pneumonia risk in older adults: Study
USA: A recent study in the journal JDR Clinical & Translational Research found that wearing removable dentures is a risk predictor for pneumonia incidence among older adults.
Older adults are more prone to pneumonia, a common respiratory infection. About 1 million older adults are hospitalized per year for community-acquired pneumonia in the United States. T.T. Wu, Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA, and colleagues aimed to determine if wearing removable dentures is related to an increased risk of pneumonia in a geriatric population in a retrospective cohort study.
The study included patients >65 y of age within a large academic health system (University of Rochester Medical Center). The researchers reviewed medical and dental electronic records from 2010 to 2018 that were used for data collection. The exposure was removable denture wearing.
The main outcome variables were the incidence of pneumonia and the time to event of pneumonia. The association between pneumonia onset and wearing removable dentures were examined after adjusting for demographics, socioeconomic status, and medical and dental conditions.
The study included a total of 2,364 patients were included, with 1,189 (50.29%) in the denture-wearing group and 1,175 (49.70%) in the non–denture-wearing group.
Key findings include:
- The annual pneumonia incidence rate per 100,000 persons was 1,191 in the denture-wearing group and 128 per 100,000 persons in the non–denture-wearing group, with a crude incidence rate ratio of 9.33.
- The mean ± SD age of the pneumonia onset was 78.0 ± 10.0 and 78.6 ± 9.0 y among the denture-wearing and non-wearing groups.
- The time to event of pneumonia was associated with removable denture wearing (yes/no; hazard ratio, 7.68) after adjusting for covariates.
"Wearing removable dentures was found to be a risk predictor for pneumonia incidence among the geriatric population even after accounting for other risk factors," the authors wrote. "Although the current study does not imply a causal relationship between denture wearing and pneumonia, clinicians and older patients could reference the study results when choosing dental prostheses to restore missing teeth."
1. Alzamil H, Wu TT, van Wijngaarden E, et al. Removable Denture Wearing as a Risk Predictor for Pneumonia Incidence and Time to Event in Older Adults. JDR Clinical & Translational Research. October 2021. doi:10.1177/23800844211049406