Relationship between Subjective Oral Discomfort and Health-Related Quality of Life in the South Korean Elderly Population
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
This study examined the relationship between oral discomfort and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in the Korean elderly, using the datasets provided by the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KHNANES) over 6 consecutive years (2010–2015). A total of 13,618 participants aged 65 years and over were included in the final analysis. A complex sample logistic regression was performed to determine the impact of oral discomfort on HRQOL. The results revealed that toothache,
... that toothache, masticatory discomfort, and pronunciation problems caused by oral health conditions were all risk factors for decreased HRQOL. In particular, masticatory discomfort (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.63, Model III (adjusted for all covariates)) and pronunciation problems (AOR 1.64, Model III) negatively impacted the HRQOL of the elderly to a great extent. Masticatory discomfort had a stronger negative impact on HRQOL in the domains of "self-care" (AOR 1.83) and "usual activities" (AOR 1.66), while pronunciation problems had a similar impact on all five domains of the EuroQol 5-Dimension (EQ-5D). These findings could serve as baseline data for setting up early intervention programs for the timely prevention of oral health-related discomfort problems that greatly affect the QOL of the elderly population, and for the development of comprehensive and efficient dental insurance policies.