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Keywords:

  • chronic disease;
  • dentistry;
  • diabetes;
  • epidemiology;
  • hypertension;
  • survey

Abstract

Objective

To assess the association between self-reported oral health (SROH) and general health, this study examined the cross-sectional associations between SROH and nine chronic health conditions, namely cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, nervous system disease, eye/nose/throat disease, stomach/intestinal disease, and musculoskeletal disease in Hong Kong.

Methods

This study included 41 641 participants recruited in the FAMILY Project cohort study during March 2009–March 2011. SROH was measured on a 5-point Likert scale. Multiple logistic regression model was used to analyze the effect of dichotomized SROH (0: very good/good/average, 1: bad/very bad) on nine chronic health conditions, adjusted for age, sex, education, personal income, smoking and drinking habits, Body mass index (BMI), and blood pressures.

Results

All the nine chronic health conditions investigated were associated with SROH. SROH showed the strongest cross-sectional association with nervous system disease (odds ratio = 3.30, < 0.001), while the odds ratio with other significant chronic health conditions ranged from 1.13 (high cholesterol, = 0.033)–1.73 (stomach/intestinal disease, < 0.001).

Conclusions

Poor SROH is associated with cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, nervous system disease, eye/nose/throat disease, stomach/intestinal disease, and musculoskeletal disease.