Tooth loss and obesity in a defined Swedish population

Anna-Lena Ostberg, Maria Nyholm, Bo Gullberg, Lennart Råstam, Ulf Lindblad

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46 Citations (SciVal)


Aims: To explore the association between tooth loss and obesity in an adult Swedish population, and to investigate the influence of socioeconomy, life-style, and co-morbidity. Methods: A cross-sectional population health survey conducted in 2001-2005 in 2816 randomly selected Swedish men and women (age: 30-74 years; participation rate 76%). Main measures were; tooth loss: < 20 remaining teeth (self-reported), general obesity: BMI >= 30 kg m(-2), abdominal obesity: waist circumference >88 in women and >102 cm in men. Adjustments were made for socioeconomy, life-style, and co-morbidity. Results: 420 individuals (21.2%) had < 20 remaining teeth: 30-59 years 6.0%, 60-74 years 53.5%. Mean BMI was similar in men and women (26.9 kg m(-2)), however, both general and abdominal obesity was still more frequent among women (both p < 0.001). There was a significant interaction between age and tooth loss in the association with both general (p = 0.004) and abdominal obesity (p < 0.011) in men. In participants below 60 years of age, the association between tooth loss and general obesity (OR 2.17 [95% CI 1.51-3.12]) and abdominal obesity (2.23 [1.58-3.15]), respectively, was statistically significant independent of age and gender, and remained so also when accounting for differences in socioeconomy, life-style, and co-morbidity. There was no similar association in those 60 years or older. The findings in men and women were robust and concordant. Conclusions: Common mechanisms for oral health and obesity should be explored more also including longitudinal designs. The findings are important for targeting comprehensive interventions against obesity and tooth loss, especially among younger adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-433
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology


  • waist circumference
  • tooth loss
  • obesity
  • Age
  • body mass index


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