Social capital and periodontal disease in Hispanic/Latino adults in the United States: Results from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos

J Clin Periodontol. 2020 May;47(5):542-551. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.13262. Epub 2020 Mar 1.


Aims: To examine the association of social capital with periodontal disease severity.

Materials and methods: We analysed data obtained from 3,994 men and women aged 18-74 years in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Sociocultural Ancillary Study (HCHS/SOL SCAS). From 2008 to 2011, dentists assessed periodontitis status with a full-mouth periodontal examination. Periodontitis was classified using standardized case definitions. Multivariable logistic regression estimated odds of moderate-severe periodontitis associated with two measures of social capital: structural support (Social Network Index) and functional support (Interpersonal Support Evaluation List).

Results: For US-born participants, for each additional person in their social network, the adjusted odds of moderate-severe periodontitis was reduced 17% (OR = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.71, 0.96). However, no association was found between functional support and periodontal disease severity.

Conclusions: Greater structural social support was associated with a lower prevalence of moderate-severe periodontitis in US-born Hispanics/Latinos. These findings suggest that US-born Hispanics/Latinos with less social support represent a vulnerable segment of the population at high-risk group for periodontal disease.

Keywords: Hispanics; periodontal disease; social capital; social network; social support.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Public Health*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Capital*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult