Original Article

Effects of general and oral health on quality of life in the elderly living alone and with family

Eun-Ju Jung*   

1Department of Dental Hygiene, Cheongam College

Abstract

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of general and oral health on quality of life in the elderly living alone and with family. Methods: We analyzed data from the 6th Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Distribution of the elderly living alone and with family based on the general characteristics and general and oral health was analyzed using complex-sample chi-square tests. Multiple logistic regression was used to analyze the factors affecting quality of life by calculating the 95% confidence intervals. Results: In the elderly living alone, the quality of life significantly correlated with restriction of activity, perceived general and oral health status, perceived stress, and speech difficulties. Further, in the elderly living with family, lower quality of life significantly correlated with restriction of activity, perceived health status, walking days per week, life time smoking history, Community Periodontal Index, and chewing and speech difficulties. Conclusions: The elderly are concerned with self-maintenance of general and oral health. Therefore, systematic policies related to health services need to be developed and operated at the national level. It is especially necessary to take social interest in the elderly living alone and a more continuous and professional approach in their health care.

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