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
, 129-137. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2014.44018
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