Edentulism is associated with various adverse health outcomes but treatment options in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) are limited. Data on its prevalence and its effect on mental health and overall-health is lacking, especially from LMICs. Self-reported data on complete edentulism obtained by standardized questionnaires on 201,953 adults aged ≥18 years from 50 countries which participated in the World Health Survey (WHS) 2002-2004 were analyzed. Age and sex-standarized edentulism prevalence ranged from 0.1% (95% CI = 0.0-0.3) (Myanmar) to 14.5% (95% CI = 13.1-15.9) (Zimbabwe), and 2.1% (95% CI = 1.5-3.0) (Ghana) to 32.3% (95% CI = 29.0-35.8) (Brazil) in the younger and older age groups respectively. Edentulism was significantly associated with depression (OR 1.57, 95% CI = 1.23-2.00) and poor self-rated health (OR 1.38, 95% CI = 1.03-1.83) in the younger group with no significant associations in the older age group. Our findings highlight the edentulism-related health loss in younger persons from LMICs. The relative burden of edentulism is likely to grow as populations age and live longer. Given its life-long nature and common risk factors with other NCDs, edentulism surveillance and prevention should be an integral part of the global agenda of NCD control.
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