Impact of oral health status on oral intake ability prognosis after pneumonia in older patients: a retrospective cohort study

  • Mikako Nakamura
  • Narimi Miyauchi
  • Ryo MomosakiEmail author
Research Paper

Key summary points


To test the hypothesis that oral health status has an effect on oral intake ability prognosis after pneumonia in older adults.


The study demonstrated that poor oral health status was associated with poor oral intake ability prognosis in patients with pneumonia in acute care.


Evaluation of oral health status could be essential in the management of older patients with pneumonia.


Background and purpose

Older dysphagic patients with pneumonia are frequently managed with a nil per os regimen on admission. This practice could lead to worse oral health and outcomes after pneumonia. The aim of this study is to examine the hypothesis that oral health status has an effect on oral intake prognosis after pneumonia in older adults.


This retrospective observational study evaluated data on consecutive in-patients with pneumonia aged > 65 years in an acute care ward. We compared baseline characteristics and outcomes between two groups with or without oral health problems assessed using the Oral Health Assessment Tool. Primary outcome was attaining total oral intake (Functional Oral Intake Scale) at discharge. Secondary outcome was length of hospital stay.


After applying exclusion criteria, 162 patients were eligible for analysis; 113 (70.0%) had oral health problems. Patients without oral health problems had higher rates of total oral intake at discharge than patients with oral health problems (69.4% vs. 49.6%; p = 0.03). Patients without oral health problems had shorter length of hospital stay than patients with oral health problems (mean, 30.6 days vs. 41.3 days; p = 0.03). Multiple logistic regression analysis identified oral health problems as a significant factor for total oral intake at discharge (odds ratio, 0.45; 95% confidence interval, 0.21–0.98). Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that oral health problems significantly affected length of hospital stay (coefficient, 11.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.2–20.7).


Our data demonstrated that poor oral health status was associated with poor oral intake ability prognosis in patients with pneumonia in acute care.


Eating Geriatric dentistry Oral health Pneumonia 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Our research was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Teikyo university (registration number: TUIC‐COI 17‐188).

Informed consent

Formal consent is not required for this type of study.


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Copyright information

© European Geriatric Medicine Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RehabilitationTeikyo University School of Medicine University HospitalKawasakiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Rehabilitation MedicineTeikyo University School of Medicine University HospitalKawasakiJapan

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