Oral health status and the epidemiologic paradox within latino immigrant groups

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Background: According to the United States census, there are 28 categories that define " Hispanic/Latinos." This paper compares differences in oral health status between Mexican immigrants and other Latino immigrant groups.Methods: Derived from a community-based sample (N = 240) in Los Angeles, this cross-sectional study uses an interview covering demographic and behavioral measures, and an intraoral examination using NIDCR epidemiologic criteria. Descriptive, bivariate analysis, and multiple regression analysis were conducted to examine the determinants that are associated with the Oral Health Status Index (OHSI).Results: Mexican immigrants had a significantly higher OHSI (p < .05) compared to other Latinos. The multilinear regression showed that both age and gender (p < .05), percentage of untreated decayed teeth (p < .001), number of replaced missing teeth (p < .001), and attachment loss (p < .001) were significant.Conclusions: Compared with the other Latino immigrants in our sample, Mexican immigrants have significantly better oral health status. This confirms the epidemiologic paradox previously found in comparisons of Mexicans with whites and African Americans. In this case of oral health status the paradox also occurs between Mexicans and other Latinos. Therefore, when conducting oral health studies of Latinos, more consideration needs to be given to differences within Latino subgroups, such as their country of origin and their unique ethnic and cultural characteristics. © 2012 Spolsky et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.




Spolsky, V. W., Marcus, M., Der-Martirosian, C., Coulter, I. D., & Maida, C. A. (2012). Oral health status and the epidemiologic paradox within latino immigrant groups. BMC Oral Health, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6831-12-39

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