Purpose The primary objective of this study is to evaluate how attendance at dental visits may change as cancer patients move through pre-diagnosis, diagnosis, and into survivorship. Methods The Health and Retirement Study consists of longitudinal survey data collected biannually detailing financial and health information in subjects over 51 years old. We assessed a subset of 4195 patients who received a new cancer diagnosis during the study period. The odds of reporting a dental visit were examined using a mixed effects logistic regression model. A propensity score weighted analysis of the association between dental attendance and survival was also undertaken. Results The odds of attending a dental visit were substantially lower in the peri-diagnosis period OR = 0.784 (0.700, 0.876) and the post-diagnosis period OR = 0.734 (0.655, 0.823) compared to pre-diagnosis. This effect persisted in patients who survived for at least 2 years indicating that the decline in oral health visits was not due to low expected survival. After propensity score weighting, patients who attended a dental visit in the peri-diagnosis period demonstrated a reduced hazard of all-cause mortality HR = 0.825 (0.681, 0.979) compared with those with no attendance. Conclusions Dental attendance decreases by a statistically and
Supportive Care in Cancer – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 25, 2018
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