Aim: This study aimed to determine the risk of malnutrition in some communities where the frail elderly receive public long-term care insurance. We also clarified the dental problems in those at risk of malnutrition. Methods: A total of 716 frail elderly who lived in eight cities in Japan (240 males and 476 females with a mean age of 83.2±8.6years) were divided into three groups according to Mini Nutritional Assessment short form results: well nourished, at risk of malnutrition and malnourished. They were also divided into three groups in terms of remaining teeth occlusion and denture occlusion: group A, natural dentition with adequate function; group B, partially or fully edentulous, but maintaining functional occlusion with dentures in either or both jaws; and group C, functionally inadequate occlusion with no dentures. The relationship between nutrition status and dental occlusion was evaluated using logistic regression analysis with sex, age, activities of daily living and cognitive function as covariates. Results: The number of participants in each of the groups was as follows: 251 well nourished, 370 at risk of malnutrition and 95 malnourished. When they were divided into just two groups, (i) well nourished and (ii) at risk of malnutrition plus malnourished, in order to study malnutrition risk factors, there were significant relationships between their nutritious status and sex, Barthel index, and occlusion. Conclusion: This large-scale cross-sectional survey showed that loss of natural teeth occlusion was a risk factor for malnutrition among community-dwelling frail elderly.
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