Longitudinal Association Between Oral Status and Cognitive Decline Using Fixed-effects Analysis

Sakura Kiuchi, Taro Kusama, Kemmyo Sugiyama, Takafumi Yamamoto, Upul Cooray, Tatsuo Yamamoto, Katsunori Kondo, Ken Osaka, Jun Aida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although the feasibility of randomized trials for investigating the long-term association between oral health and cognitive decline is low, deriving causal inferences from observational data is challenging. We aimed to investigate the association between poor oral status and subjective cognitive complaints (SCC) using fixed-effects model to eliminate the confounding effect of unobserved time-invariant factors. Methods: We used data from Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES) which was conducted in 2010, 2013, and 2016. β regression coefficients and 95% confidence intervals [CIs] were calculated using fixed-effects models to determine the effect of deteriorating oral status on developing SCC. Onset of SCC was evaluated using the Kihon Checklist-Cognitive function score. Four oral status variables were used: awareness of swallowing difficulty, decline in masticatory function, dry mouth, and number of teeth. Results: We included 13,594 participants (55.8% women) without SCC at baseline. The mean age was 72.4 (standard deviation [SD], 5.1) years for men and 72.4 (SD, 4.9) years for women. Within the 6-year follow-up, 26.6% of men and 24.9% of women developed SCC. The probability of developing SCC was significantly higher when participants acquired swallowing difficulty (β = 0.088; 95% CI, 0.065–0.111 for men and β = 0.077; 95% CI, 0.057–0.097 for women), decline in masticatory function (β = 0.039; 95% CI, 0.021–0.057 for men and β = 0.030; 95% CI, 0.013–0.046 for women), dry mouth (β = 0.026; 95% CI, 0.005–0.048 for men and β = 0.064; 95% CI, 0.045–0.083 for women), and tooth loss (β = 0.043; 95% CI, 0.001–0.085 for men and β = 0.058; 95% CI, 0.015–0.102 for women). Conclusion: The findings suggest that good oral health needs to be maintained to prevent the development of SCC, which increases the risk for future dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-336
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Epidemiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • cognitive decline
  • dementia
  • number of teeth
  • oral function
  • oral health


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