Social factors and periodontitis in an older population

Am J Public Health. 2004 May;94(5):748-54. doi: 10.2105/ajph.94.5.748.


Objectives: We assessed the prevalences of periodontitis by education and income levels among US adults with data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Methods: The study was limited to non-Hispanic Blacks, Mexican Americans, and non-Hispanic Whites 50 years of age or older with a complete periodontal assessment during the dental examination.

Results: Blacks with higher education and income levels had a significantly higher prevalence of periodontitis than their White and Mexican-American counterparts. The relationship between income level and periodontitis was modified by race/ethnicity. High-income Blacks exhibited a higher prevalence of periodontitis than did low-income Blacks and high-income Whites.

Conclusions: Our findings call attention to the importance of recognizing socioeconomic status-related health differences across racial/ethnic groups within the social, political, and historical context.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Periodontitis / ethnology*
  • Prevalence
  • Social Class*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • White People / statistics & numerical data