Paper: Predicting Future Trends in Edentulousness in Irish Adults (IADR/AADR/CADR 87th General Session and Exhibition (April 1-4, 2009))

1131 Predicting Future Trends in Edentulousness in Irish Adults

Thursday, April 2, 2009: 3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Location: Exhibit Hall D (Miami Beach Convention Center)
D.M. O'MULLANE, H. WHELTON, M. CRONIN, and V. KELLEHER, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
Background: The population of those aged 65+ years in Ireland is projected to increase from its 2001 level of 430,000 to over 1.1 million by 2036. The population of those aged 80+ years is set to rise more dramatically from the 2001 level of 98,000 to 323,000 in 2036. Given the predicted population trends it is worth looking at the oral health profile among the elderly now and considering how it might change in the future and how that change might impact dental services.

Objectives: To predict the prevalence of edentulousness amongst Irish adults in 2010-2012.

Methods: Edentulousness was measured in random samples of adults in the Republic of Ireland aged 65 years and older in National Oral Health Surveys in 1979 (by means of questionnaire), 1989/90 and 2000-2002 (Whelton et al 2007 Based on these results the prevalence of edentulousness in a 10 year age cohort 75-85 is predicted.

Results: the prevalence of edentulousness amongst the 714 adults aged 65 years and older examined in 2000-2002 was 40.9%. The corresponding percentages in 1979 and 1989/90 were 72% and 48% respectively. The numbers questioned in the 65 year old and older age group in 1979 were not sufficient to provide reliable results for 10 year age cohorts. For the 10 year 65-75 year old age cohort examined in 1989/90 (n=163) 41% were edentulous. This birth cohort is represented by the 74-85 year old group in the 2000-2002 survey (n=200). Of these 53% were found to be edentulous, considerably less than the 67% found in the 75-85 year old age cohort in 1989/90.

Conclusions: These results allow a tentative prediction to be made that there will be a sizeable reduction in the percentage of the Irish population aged 75 years and older which will be edentulous in future years.