Midlife Cognitive Ability, Education, and Tooth Loss in Older Danes
Objective To examine the possible influence of cognitive ability and education at age 50 or 60 on number of teeth at age 70. Setting Community‐dwelling population in Copenhagen, Denmark. Participants Men and women born in 1914 (N = 302). Measurements Cognitive ability was assessed using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale at age 50 or 60. A global cognitive ability measure was used as a continuous measure and according to tertile. Information on education was gathered using a questionnaire at age 50 or 60. A clinical oral examination took place at age 70, and oral health was measured according to number of teeth ( Results Logistic regression analyses revealed that greater cognitive ability and educational attainment had a protective effect against risk of tooth loss. The associations were significant and persisted after adjusting for confounders and a two‐way interaction between cognitive ability and education. Conclusion Higher education level and cognitive ability measured at age 50 or 60 were associated with having more teeth at age 70. Whether these findings are due to the interaction of these factors with oral health, related socioeconomic factors, or other factors remains to be studied.
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