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Prof. Colman McGrath

Colman McGrath is a Clinical Professor in Dental Public Health at the Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong. Colman is a past President of the Behavioural Epidemiology & Health Services Research Group of the International Association of Dental Research.  Colman recently served on the steering committee for the 2020 Behavioral and Social Oral Health Sciences Summit and was the lead of the Summit’s Reactor Panel in South East Asia. 

Colman’s research interest is on the social impact of oral health, social inequalities and the oral health of older people. He has published over 300 papers in international journals and conducted numerous community-based clinical trials. He has a particular interest in improving the oral health of people with disabilities and serves on the scientific committee of the International Association of Disability and Oral Health.  

Title: Oral Health & Active Ageing                                                             

Summary:

Our world is ageing and is ageing fast. In 2020 there were more than a billion people aged 60 and older, and many of them are living in China & South East Asia. In response to the aging population, The United Nations General Assembly declared 2021–2030 the’ Decade of Healthy Ageing’ in December 2020 with World Health Organization was asked to lead on its implementation. In this presentation we will review the dimensions and domains of oral health associated with active aging. The association between oral health and mortality – all cause mortality and disease-specific mortality. The impact of oral health on diet and nutrition – the specific oral health factors and methods for assessing nutritional status, as well as the evidence of the benefits of oral rehabilitation for improvement of nutritional status among those malnourished/ or ‘at risk’. There has been considerable research into how oral health contributes to ‘frailty’ and vice-versa, and much interest in ‘oral frailty’, how it develops and how to assess it. There has been a growing interest in the relationship between oral health and cognitive decline, the potential mechanisms at play, and much debate about the implications of this for geriatric care. There is limited evidence of how social networks and social capital affects older people’s oral health.  Specific examples from local studies will be provided with a wealth of evidence from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Study.