New study notes disparities in periodontal disease

August 28, 2012

A new article by Dr. Luisa N. Borrell, the chair of Lehman College's Department of Health Sciences, explores the disparities in periodontal disease (gum disease) among U.S. adults along age, sex, racial/ethnic and socioeconomic lines over a ten-year period. The article appears in the September-October issue of Public Health Reports.

Dr. Borrell and her co-author, Prof. Makram Talih of Hunter College's School of Public Health, assessed these disparities using a summary measure they developed, the Symmetrized Theil Index, to account for each group's share of the disease and its .

Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) conducted in 1988-1994 and in 1999-2004 to examine the disparities, their study concludes that although periodontal disease decreased by 7.1% overall between surveys, the disease remained most common among adults aged 35 and older, men, blacks, Mexican-Americans, those without a and low-income households.

Unlike most studies, which contrast statistics between two time periods, Dr. Borrell and her co- author examined differences among the within a given time period to understand how race/ethnicity, income and education levels impact the disease.

"This study takes a look at statistics not only across time but also within a given time period," Dr. Borrell says. "In fact, our findings show that while disparities in periodontal disease decreased between the surveys, these disparities were wider between groups in the 1999-2004 NHANES compared to those observed in the 1988-1994 NHANES."

Explore further: People living in highly black concentrated neighborhoods more likely to report their health as poor

Related Stories

Americans still not eating enough fruits and vegetables

March 15, 2007

"Eat your vegetables" has been heard at the dinner tables of America for a long time. Has the message gotten through? Since 1990 the Dietary Guidelines for Americans has recommended consuming at least two servings of fruits ...

Gum disease found to be significant public health concern

September 22, 2010

The prevalence of periodontal disease in the United States may be significantly higher than originally estimated. Research published in the Journal of Dental Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ...

Some groups have trouble controlling diabetes

January 17, 2012

Among individuals in the U.S. with diabetes, non-Latino whites tend to better control the cardiovascular risk factors blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol, while African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and those with ...

Recommended for you

Earliest evidence of dental cavity manipulation found

July 20, 2015

A large team of researchers with members from institutions in Italy, Germany and Australia has found what they claim is the earliest example of dental cavity manipulation. In their paper published in the journal Scientific ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.