The role of contextual and individual factors on periodontal disease in Uruguayan adults


Braz. oral res.




Abstract The present study aimed at understanding the relationship between periodontitis and socio-contextual and individual determinants of health. Data from “The First Uruguayan Oral Health Survey, 2011”, which included 223 and 455 individuals with 35–44 and 65–74 years old respectively, were used. A stratified, multistage cluster sampling design was adopted (cities with ≥ 20.000 residents). Periodontitis was assessed using the modified Community Periodontal Index (CPI) and clinical attachment loss (CAL) (periodontal pocket and CAL ≥ 4 mm). Independent variables included contextual socioeconomic status (SES) measured by proportion of houses with Unsatisfied Basic Needs (UBN) and individual demographic and behavioral factors. Logistic regression multilevel models were generated. Living in contexts with a higher UBN was associated with higher odds for periodontitis in both age groups, even when adjusting for individual level variables (odds ratio [OR] = 1.51, 95%CI = 1.42–1.60 and 1.31, 95%CI = 1.21–1.42, respectively). Being male or heavy smoker increased the odds of periodontitis in this population for both age groups. Social structure impacts periodontal disease by modifying individual socioeconomic situations: in better socioeconomic context, UBN acts increasing the protector role of socioeconomic situation but in a poverty context the role is attenuated. Conclusions for this study are that periodontitis varies across contextual socio-demographic groups being higher in the population with a lower SES, challenging health authorities to integrate oral health into national non-communicable diseases programs.

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