Title: 2360 - Functional Deterioration of Eyes, Ears, and Mouth and Social Interactions
Ayaka Igarashi (Presenter)
Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry
Jun Aida, Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry
Toru Tsuboya, Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry
Kemmyo Sugiyama, Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry
Shihoko Koyama, Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry
Takafumi Yamamoto, Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry
Taro Kusama, Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry
Tatsuo Yamamoto, Graduate School of Dentistry, Kanagawa Dental University
Katsunori Kondo, Center for Preventive Medical Sciences, Chiba University
Ken Osaka, Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry
Objectives: Loneliness is a health hazard; hence, maintaining social interactions among older populations is an important public health agenda. Although declining physical functions in the eyes, ears, and mouth during aging could create a barrier to social interactions, no study has compared the degree of their influence. This study aimed to determine the association between each functional deterioration and social interactions among older Japanese individuals.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study using data from self-administered questionnaires for community-dwelling people aged ≥65 years in the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study in 2016. The dependent variable was the frequency of social interactions defined by whether participants met their friends several times per year. The independent variables were degrees of disability of vision or hearing (5-point Likert scale) and self-reported number of remaining teeth (five categories). Sex, age, educational attainment, comorbidity, and residential area were used as covariates. Poisson regression analysis with multiple imputation were used to calculate the prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs) of eyes, ears, and number of remaining teeth on fewer social interactions.
Results: Among 20,742 participants, the average age was 74.2 years (standard deviation=6.3) and the proportion of men was 46.1%. The proportion of those who engaged in fewer social interactions was 26.7%. Proportions of fewer social interactions among those with poorest functioning of the eyes, ears, and mouth were 50.0%, 40.2%, and 31.9%, respectively. Compared with the participants with the best functional conditions, PRs of fewer social interactions in those with poorest functioning of the eyes, ears, and mouth were 2.0 (95%CI: 1.2–3.5), 1.5 (95%CI: 1.1–2.1), and 1.2 (95%CI: 1.1–1.3), respectively.
Conclusions: Functional deteriorations in the eyes, ears, and mouth were associated with fewer social interactions among older populations. Prevention and treatment of impaired sensory functions may reduce loneliness.
The submitter must disclose the names of the organizations with which any author have a relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the clinical or research area involved. The following is submitted: NONE