May 01, 1999
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts May 1999 Current Issue
May 1999
AppleShort Cuts:

GOING TOOTHLESS: The prevalence of edentulism, or total tooth loss, varies widely state to state (and it hasn’t been linked to viewership of the Jerry Springer show). Nearly half (48 percent) of people 65 and older in West Virginia are gumming it, as are 40 percent of Louisiana’s and Kentucky’s seniors.

These findings are among the results of a survey released last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The national health goal is to reduce total tooth loss in that age group to less than 20 percent of the population by 2000. Thus far, only five states have achieved that goal: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Wisconsin.

Other interesting survey findings: About 42 percent of high school dropouts had lost all of their teeth by age 65, compared with just 10 percent of college grads, and more than 41 percent of daily smokers went toothless, compared with 20 percent of those who had never smoked.

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