Online Program

Prevalence of Dry Mouth and Related Factors among Older Adults with Low Income Living in a Suburban Area

Monday, November 2, 2015

Young-Shin Lee, PhD, School of Nursing, San Diego State University, San Deigo, CA
Hee-Gerl Kim, PhD, Gachon University, Gyeonggi-Do, Korea, Republic of (South)
Objectives: Dry mouth in older adults is a common problem which has not been received enough attention to understand the phenomena. The purpose was to identify the prevalence of dry mouth and related factors among low income older adults living independently in a suburban community.

 Methods: This study was a secondary analysis of the Home Health Care Service Project, a population-based interview survey with home healthcare service. A total of 9,840 adults aged 65 and older were selected and assessed for the presence of dry mouth in association with aspects of healthy lifestyles, chronic disease, oral conditions, and oral function by using Cross-tab and multiple logistic regression analyses.

Results: Of the total participants, 40% experienced dry mouth. Multivariate regression analysis indicated those who had difficulty chewing solid food and swallowing liquids had the significantly highest odd ratios of dry mouth problems (OR = 2.21 and OR = 4.69, P < 0.001), respectively. Women, high priority group, and symptoms of gingiva bleeding/pain were associated with dry mouth. However, the variables of age, smoking, using dentures, having fewer than 10 teeth, and chewing difficulty were not associated with presence of dry mouth. Interestingly, older adults who live alone and drink alcohol frequently had less problems of dry mouth than those who live together and drink less alcohol. 

Conclusions: The prevalence of dry mouth in older adults was high and associated with oral conditions and functions. Strategies for early detection and treatment of the problem should be developed.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Basic medical science applied in public health
Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify the prevalence of dry mouth and characteristics of participants’ demographics, health conditions, oral conditions, and oral functions Evaluate the associations of dry mouth with related risk factors

Keyword(s): Aging, Oral Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the primary author in several papers analyzing large data sets related to aging health and healthy behaviors. Dry mouth among older adults is a common symptom which is closely related to the systemic health problems and unhealthy lifestyles, which are my main interest in research. I have been intensively trained for aging research by National Institute of Aging and Hartford Institute of Geriatric Nursing.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.