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Older Age, Smoking, Tooth Loss And Denture-wearing But Neither Xerostomia Nor Salivary Gland Hypofunction Are Associated With Low Intakes Of Fruit And Vegetables In Older Danish Adults

Anne Marie Lynge Pedersen, Anja Weirsøe Dynesen, Berit Lilienthal Heitmann

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Abstract Xerostomia and salivary gland hypofunction are prevalent conditions in older people and may adversely influence the intake of certain foods, notably fruit and vegetables. Here, we aimed to investigate whether xerostomia and salivary gland hypofunction were associated with a lower intake of fruit and vegetables. The study included 621 community-dwelling adults, mean age 75⋅2 ± 6⋅4 years, 58⋅9 % female, who had participated in the Copenhagen City Heart Study follow-up, and undergone interviews regarding food intake (preceding month), oral and general health (xerostomia, taste alterations, diseases, medication, alcohol consumption and smoking), clinical oral examination and measurements of unstimulated and chewing-stimulated whole saliva flow rates. The average total energy intake (8⋅4 ± 2⋅7 MJ) and protein energy percentage (14⋅8 ± 3⋅1 %) were slightly below recommendations. The average fruit (234⋅7 ± 201⋅2 g/d) and vegetables (317⋅3 ± 157⋅4 g/d) intakes were within recommendations. Xerostomia and hyposalivation were more prevalent in women than in men (16⋅4 v. 7⋅1 %, P < 0⋅001 and 40⋅7 v. 27⋅5 %, P < 0⋅001). Multiple linear regression analyses revealed that older age (β −0⋅009, se 0⋅003, P = 0⋅005), smoking (β −0⋅212, se 0⋅060, P = 0⋅0005) and wearing complete dentures/being partially or fully edentulous (β −0⋅141, se 0⋅048, P = 0⋅003), but neither xerostomia nor salivary flow rates were associated with an inadequate fruit and vegetable intake, after adjustment for covariates. Older age, smoking, tooth loss and denture-wearing were stronger determinants of low fruit and vegetable intakes than xerostomia and salivary hypofunction supporting the importance of dietary counselling and maintenance of oral health and an adequate masticatory performance.