The purpose of this study was to identify gender differences in chewing discomfort among elderly Koreans.
This study used data from 56 616 (weighted sample: 5 638 394) subjects aged over 65 years who participated in the 2011 Community Health Survey in Korea. Of them, 23 059 (weighted sample: 2 368 200, 42.0%) were men and 33 357 (weighted sample: 3 270 194, 58.0%) were women. Data were analysed using chi-square tests and hierarchical logistic regression analyses, with SPSS 20.0. Chewing discomfort was set as the dependent variable, and independent variables were divided into socio-economic factors (place of residence, age, education, monthly household income, basic living security stipend, private insurance, economic activity, living arrangements), general health factors (hypertension, diabetes) and oral health factors (tooth defects, denture use, subjective periodontal health status).
A greater proportion of women (50.2%) than men (42.6%) exhibited chewing discomfort (P < 0.001). In men, place of residence, monthly household income, private health insurance, tooth defects and periodontal health were associated with chewing discomfort (P < 0.05). In women, age, education level, basic living security stipend and denture use were associated with chewing discomfort (P < 0.05).
Elderly Korean women experience more severe chewing discomfort than their male counterparts. The factors associated with chewing also differ by gender.