Association Between Oral Health and Frailty Among Older Adults in Madinah, Saudi Arabia: A Cross-Sectional Study



This study aimed to examine the association between normative and subjective oral health indicators and frailty assessed by Frailty Phenotype (FP) and frailty index (FI) among older Saudi adults.


cross-sectional study.


community and hospital-based.


participants were 356 community-dwelling older adults attending dental clinics and social centres at Madinah, Saudi Arabia.


Frailty was measured with the frailty phenotype and a 34-item FI. Oral health included the following measures: self-rated oral health, number of teeth, and functional dentition. Covariates included sociodemographic factors and nutritional status. Logistic regression and negative binomial regression models were constructed to test the association between oral health indicators, FP, and FI, respectively. The first model was adjusted for demographic and socioeconomic factors, the second model was additionally adjusted for nutritional status.


The number of teeth, functional dentition and self-rated oral health showed significant associations with frailty after adjusting for demographic and socioeconomic variables for both FP and FI. Adjusting for nutritional status attenuated the associations.


This study has shown significant associations between oral health indicators namely number of teeth, functional dentition and self-rated oral health, and both FP and FI among Saudi older adults. Nutritional status appeared to mediate the association between oral health and frailty implicating inability to eat in this relationship.

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The study did not recive any financial support

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Faisal Hakeem.

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Conflict of interest: The aouthrs declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standards: The study was approved by King’s College London Research Ethics Committee (HR-18/19-8791) and Taibah University, College of Dentistry Research Ethics Committee (TUCDREC/20190129/FHakeem).

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Hakeem, F., Bernabé, E., Fadel, H.T. et al. Association Between Oral Health and Frailty Among Older Adults in Madinah, Saudi Arabia: A Cross-Sectional Study. J Nutr Health Aging (2020).

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Key words

  • Aging
  • frailty
  • nutrition
  • oral health
  • teeth loss