Oral care help to maintain nutritional status in frail older people

Division of Oral and Dental Surgery, Department of Advanced Medicine, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, 36-3, Gengo, Morioka, Obu 474-8511, Japan.
Archives of gerontology and geriatrics (Impact Factor: 1.85). 11/2009; 51(2):125-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.archger.2009.09.038
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of continuous oral care on the nutritional status of older people who require care using a 1-year randomized, controlled study. Fifty-three residents of a nursing home in Japan participated in this study. Subjects were randomly divided into two groups, an oral care intervention group and control group. The subjects in the oral care intervention group received professional oral care from a dentist three times a week over the course of 1 year. Body weight, body mass index (BMI), serum albumin, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) were measured as objective indicators of nutritional status at baseline and after 1 year, and compared between the groups. In the oral care group, no significant decline was seen in all indicators from the start to the end of the intervention, but in the control group there was a statistically significant decline in all indicators at the end of the year. These results suggest that the intervention of oral care alone can serve to maintain the nutritional status of older people who require care. Implementation of continuous oral care is an important task from the viewpoint of maintaining nutritional status in older people.

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