OJPM  Vol.4 No.4 , April 2014
Use of Dental Health Services within the Past Year among Adults at Risk of Diabetes in the Alabama Black Belt
ABSTRACT

Objective: We evaluated the use of dental health services within the past year among adults at risk of diabetes in the Alabama Black Belt. Methods: Data for this cross-sectional study was collected in 2005-2006 through the Flying Sparks project. In addition to descriptive statistics and univariate analysis (Chi-square), we used multiple logistic regression analysis to examine the association between dental care use and diabetic status. Results: 1355 individuals responded the survey (mean age 51 years). 67.9% were females and 89.5% African-Americans. 16.7% reported history of diabetes. Overall, 54.5% of individuals had visited a dentist within the past year. Adults with diabetes were less likely than those without diabetes to have seen a dentist (13.4% vs 86.6%, p < 0.01). Females were more likely to visit a dentist in the past year (adjusted OR = 1.4, 95% CI 1.11-1.90) than males. African-Americans were less likely than whites to have seen a dentist (adjusted OR = 0.6, 95% CI 0.43-0.97). Lower levels of education and household income were associated with a greater likelihood of not seeing a dentist in the previous year. After controlling for gender, health insurance, race, education, report of limited community health services, routine medical check-up within past year, and annual household income, individuals with diabetes were significantly less likely than those without diabetes to have seen a dentist within the preceding year (OR = 0.6, 95% CI 0.43-0.84). Conclusions: Individuals with history of diabetes in the Alabama Black Belt should be encouraged to have annual dental visits as part of a comprehensive diabetes care plan.


Cite this paper
Tamí-Maury, I. , Oliveira, A. , Kohler, C. , Foushee, H. and Michael, M. (2014) Use of Dental Health Services within the Past Year among Adults at Risk of Diabetes in the Alabama Black Belt. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4, 129-137. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2014.44018.
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