Dental caries in adolescents and its association with excess weight and sociodemographic factors in Londrina, Paraná, Brazil
Keywords:Dental caries, obesity, overweight, demographic indicators, socioeconomic factors, adolescent
AbstractPurpose: To evaluate the prevalence of dental caries and investigate its association with sociodemographic factors and excess weight in adolescents. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study with a sample of 424 adolescents between 15 and 19 years of age. The prevalence of dental caries was assessed according to criteria defined by the WHO (1997); sociodemographic characteristics were obtained through interviews with the adolescents, and nutritional status was determined by the body mass index. Statistical analysis was based on the Chi-square, Mann-Whitney, and Kruskal-Wallis tests using a 5% significance level. Results: The prevalence of dental caries was 72.9% with an average DMFT (decayed, missing and filled teeth) index of 2.93. Excess weight was diagnosed in 22.4% of the adolescents. Factors that were associated with a greater severity included residence/school on the west side of the city (P < 0.0001), 17 years of age (P=0.026), dark skin (P=0.005), lower education level (P < 0.0001), higher maternal age (P=0.050), and lower family income (P=0.033). Despite an absence of statistical significance, the greatest dental caries severity was found among overweight adolescents and the lowest severity was found among obese adolescents. Conclusion: Sociodemographic factors have an important influence on the prevalence of dental caries in the study population. Greater excess weight was not associated with dental caries.
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