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The association between oral health and suicide attempts in Korean elderly : The 7th Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (7th KNHANES, 2016-2018)

  • Journal of Korean society of Dental Hygiene
  • Abbr : J Korean Soc Dent Hyg
  • 2020, 20(3), pp.335-346
  • DOI : 10.13065/jksdh.20200031
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Dental Hygiene
  • Research Area : Medicine and Pharmacy > Dentistry
  • Received : April 8, 2020
  • Accepted : May 11, 2020
  • Published : June 30, 2020

jung eun seo 1 Lee Kyeonghee 1

1신한대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Objectives: This study investigated the association between oral health and suicide attempts in adults aged 65 years or older using the 7th Korea National Health and Examination Survey (KHANES, 2016-2018). Methods: Of the total 24,269 participants of the 7th KHANES (2016-2018), 1,488 adults aged 65 years or older who had an oral health examination were selected. Variations in suicide attempts with demographic characteristics and perceived oral health status were analyzed using the χ2 test, and the association between oral health and suicide attempts was analyzed using the logistic regression model. Results: The suicide attempt rate was higher among older adults with chewing (p<0.01) and speaking (p<0.05) difficulties. The odds ratio for a suicide attempt was 1.05 times higher among those with tooth loss (p<0.05). Conclusions: Our results showed that older adults with tooth loss had an increased risk of suicide. Thus, it is important to prevent tooth loss, in the first place, through proper oral health management. If tooth loss occurs, appropriate treatment should be prioritized to facilitate functional recovery. Finally, national support is required for older adults with limited access to dental care.

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