Social disparities in periodontitis among United States adults 1999-2004

Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2008 Oct;36(5):383-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0528.2007.00406.x.


Objectives: To investigate whether race/ethnicity, income, and education are independently associated with periodontitis; and to investigate the effect of adjusting for income and education on the association between race/ethnicity and periodontitis in the National Health and Examination Nutrition Surveys 1999-2004.

Methods: Analyses were limited to records of non-Hispanic black, non-Hispanic white or Mexican-American adults (n = 10 648). SUDAAN was used to estimate the strength of the association of race/ethnicity, education, and income with the prevalence of periodontitis before and after adjusting for selected characteristics and risk factors.

Results: The prevalence of periodontitis was 3.6%, with Black people (7.2%) exhibiting significantly higher prevalence than Mexican Americans (4.4%) and White people (3.0%, P < 0.01). After adjusting for selected sociodemographic characteristics, black adults, those with less than a high school education and those with low income were 1.94 (95% CI 1.46-2.58), 2.06 (95% CI 1.47-2.89) and 1.89 (95% CI 1.18-3.04) times more likely to have periodontitis than White people, those with more than a high school diploma and those with high income, respectively.

Conclusions: This study indicates that inequalities in periodontitis associated with race/ethnicity, education and income continue to be pervasive in the US over the years.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodontitis / epidemiology*
  • Periodontitis / ethnology
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology
  • White People / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult