Tooth Loss and Decline in Functional Capacity: A Prospective Cohort Study from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study

Yukihiro Sato, Jun Aida, Katsunori Kondo, Toru Tsuboya, Richard G. Watt, Tatsuo Yamamoto, Shihoko Koyama, Yusuke Matsuyama, Ken Osaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To describe associations between tooth loss and changes in higher-level functional capacity. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: Twenty-four Japanese municipalities between 2010 and 2013. Participants: Functionally independent community-dwelling persons aged 65 and older (N = 62,333). Measurements: Self-reported number of teeth was used as an exposure variable. The outcome was changes in higher-level functional capacity measured using the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology Index of Competence (TMIG-IC), which consists of three domains: instrumental activities of daily living, intellectual activity, and social roles. The TMIG-IC score ranges from 0 (lowest function) to 13 (highest function). All covariates were chosen from baseline demographic, socioeconomic, health behavior, and health variables based upon evidence from previous studies. Inverse-probability weighting (IPW) with propensity score and multiple linear regression, estimating nonstandardized coefficients (β) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), were used. Results: The baseline response rate was 65.2%, and the follow-up rate was 70.1%. During the follow-up period, participants’ TMIG-IC score declined by an average of 0.247 points (standard deviation: 1.446). The results showed a significant dose-response association between tooth loss and decline in higher-level functional capacity in multiple linear regression models. IPW models estimated the increment in TMIG-IC score (β = 0.170, 95% CI = 0.114 to 0.227) if edentulous participants gained 20 or more natural teeth. Conclusion: Tooth loss is associated with future decline in higher-level functional capacity. IPW models suggest that treatment for tooth loss attenuates decline in higher-level functional capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2336-2342
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 1


  • independent living
  • oral health
  • propensity score
  • tooth loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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