Association of Glycated Hemoglobin Level with Self-Reported Chewing Problems in Elderly Community-Dwelling Individuals in Japan

Midori Fujishiro, Sho Tanaka, Kentaro Watanabe, Kazuhiro Imatake, Yasuyuki Suzuki, Hisamitsu Ishihara, Shigemasa Tani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Chewing problems are associated with increased mortality, geriatric syndromes and poor activities of daily living. Starting in 2018, in Japan, a self-reported questionnaire investigating chewing status was implemented in the annual health checkup program. Considering the bidirectional association between hyperglycemia and poor oral health, it is hypothesized that people with self-reported chewing problems will have relatively poor glycemic profiles. We investigated the metabolic characteristics of elderly community dwellers with self-reported chewing problems, as well as the association between the problems and HbA1c levels. Patients and Methods: This was a retrospective, cross-sectional study. We reviewed the data of 1018 adults ≥ 65 years of age who had undergone an annual health checkup at Nihon University Hospital during the period from January 2019 through December 2019. The presence of chewing problems was investigated using a self-reported questionnaire constructed based on guidance provided by the Japanese government. Results: In the 1018 participants, the overall prevalence of chewing problems was 10.4%. Participants with chewing problems showed significantly higher levels and worse categories of HbA1c than those without such problems (HbA1c < 6.0%, 42.5% vs 54.8%; HbA1c 6.0–6.9%, 41.5% vs 37.0%; HbA1c ≥ 7.0%, 16.0% vs 8.2%, p = 0.008). Participants with HbA1c ≥ 7.0% have a significantly increased risk of chewing problems as compared to those with HbA1c < 6.0% (odds ratio 2.76, p = 0.002), even after adjusting for the effects of age, sex, body mass index, eating behaviors, and history of diabetes mellitus. Conclusion: HbA1c ≥ 7.0% is associated with self-reported chewing problems in elderly Japanese community-dwellers. We thus recommend a proactive assessment of oral conditions for this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1231-1238
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • chewing
  • community dwellers
  • diabetes mellitus
  • elderly
  • glycated hemoglobin


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