Obesity and dental caries are important public health problems worldwide and are both associated with many adverse health outcomes. Identify if any of these problems leads to another is important to prioritise prevention actions and direct public policy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between body mass index and tooth loss in an adult population in Rio de Janeiro (Pró-Saúde Study), Brazil. Cross-sectional data were collected through self-administered questionnaire and anthropometric measurements were taken from 3930 technical-administrative staff of the university. Self-reported tooth loss (four categories) was the outcome and obesity was the main exposure variable. Data on aspects of diet, access and utilisation of healthcare, socioeconomic factors, health behaviours, and demographics were used as covariates to control for potential confounding. Compared to those with BMI<25, overweight people (BMI >25 & <30) showed a higher chance of tooth loss (OR=1.66, 95% CI 1.41 to 1.95) and obese people (BMI>30) showed a OR=2.04 (95% CI 1.67 to 2.48). Adjusting for diet, access and use of services, health behaviours and socio economic overweight and obese subjects continued with a statistically significant OR of tooth loss. However, this association lost statistical significance after adjusted for weight stability since individuals were 20 years old=overweight individuals showed an adjusted OR=1.10 (95% CI 0.78 to 1.55) and obese individuals an OR=1.17 (95% CI 0.85 to 1.62). This was a surprise because we were exploring the possibility of decay lead to tooth loss and is to be inferred in obesity. More efforts are needed to elucidate this issue.
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