Gender differences in the association between tooth loss and obesity among older adults in Brazil

<div><p>OBJECTIVE To analyze if differences according to gender exists in the association between tooth loss and obesity among older adults.METHODS We analyzed data on 1,704 older adults (60 years and over) from the baseline of a prospective cohort study conducted in Florianopolis, SC, Southern Brazil. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess the association between tooth loss and general and central obesity after adjustment for confounders (age, gender, skin color, educational attainment, income, smoking, physical activity, use of dentures, hypertension, and diabetes). Linear regressions were also assessed with body mass index and waist circumference as continuous outcomes. Interaction between gender and tooth loss was further assessed.RESULTS Overall mean body mass index was 28.0 kg/m2. Mean waist circumference was 96.8 cm for males and 92.6 cm for females. Increasing tooth loss was positively associated with increased body mass index and waist circumference after adjustment for confounders. Edentates had 1.4 (95%CI 1.1;1.9) times higher odds of being centrally obese than individuals with a higher number of teeth; however, the association lost significance after adjustment for confounders. In comparison with edentate males, edentate females presented a twofold higher adjusted prevalence of general and central obesity. In the joint effects model, edentate females had a 3.8 (95%CI 2.2;6.6) times higher odds to be centrally obese in comparison with males with more than 10 teeth present in both the arches. Similarly, females with less than 10 teeth in at least one arch had a 2.7 (95%CI 1.6;4.4) times higher odds ratio of having central obesity in comparison with males with more than 10 teeth present in both the arches.CONCLUSIONS Central obesity was more prevalent than general obesity among the older adults. We did not observe any association between general obesity and tooth loss. The association between central obesity and tooth loss depends on gender – females with tooth loss had greater probability of being obese.</p></div>