Purpose: To explore the relationship between of self-reported health (SRH) and educational attainment with pastyear dental visits in older adults in México.
Keywords: educational status, multimorbidity, older adults, past-year dental visits, self-report
Materials and Methods: For this cross-sectional study, data were derived from the Mexican Health and Aging Study 2018 (MHAS-2018), which used a nationally-representative sample of older adults (50 years or older) in Mexico (n = 14,085). Variables taken from the MHAS questionnaire included residence (rural/urban), years of education, SRH, multimorbidity, pain severity, and past-year dental visits. A logistic regression model was used to identify the association between the variables and past-year dental visits.
Results: While the percentage of past-year dental visits reported was 39.8%, this number declined with age [OR=0.76, p < 0.001], with older adults living in rural areas 34% less likely to report past-year dental visits than older adults living in urban areas. Older adults with no formal education were 73% less likely (OR=0.27; p < 0.001) to report past-year dental visits than older adults ≥10 years education. Older adults with poor SRH were 32% less likely (OR=0.68; p < 0.001) to report past-year dental visits than older adults with good/very good/excellent SRH. Sex, degree of multimorbidity, and pain level ([OR=1.37; p < 0.001] [OR=1.37; p < 0.001] and [OR=1.17; p < 0.001]) were all found to be positively associated with past-year dental visits in the study population.
Conclusion: The present study highlights the association between poor SRH, a low level of educational attainment, and less frequent past-year dental visits, as well as the finding that past-year dental visits declined with age in the older adults sampled.