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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 867-878; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030867

Early Childhood Caries and Body Mass Index in Young Children from Low Income Families

1,* , 2
Received: 1 September 2012 / Revised: 25 February 2013 / Accepted: 25 February 2013 / Published: 5 March 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Economical Determinants of Health)
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The relationship between early childhood caries (ECC) and obesity is controversial. This cross-sectional survey investigated this association in children from low-income families in Goiania, Goias, Brazil and considered the role of several social determinants. A questionnaire examining the characteristics of the children and their families was administered to the primary caregiver during home visits. In addition, children (approximately 6 years of age) had their height, weight, and tooth condition assessed. The primary ECC outcome was categorized as one of the following: caries experience (decayed, missing, filled tooth: “dmft” index > 0), active ECC (decayed teeth > 0), or active severe ECC (decayed teeth ≥ 6). Descriptive, bivariate and logistic regression analyses were conducted. The participants in the current study consisted of 269 caregiver-child dyads, 88.5% of whom were included in the Family Health Program. Caregivers were mostly mothers (67.7%), were 35.3 ± 10.0 years old on average and had 9.8 ± 3.1 years of formal education. The mean family income was 2.3 ± 1.5 times greater than the Brazilian minimum wage. On average, the children in the current study were 68.7 ± 3.8 months old. Of these, 51.7% were boys, 23.4% were overweight or obese, 45.0% had active ECC, and 17.1% had severe ECC. The average body mass index (BMI) of the children was 15.9 ± 2.2, and their dmft index was 2.5 ± 3.2. BMI was not associated with any of the three categories of dental caries (p > 0.05). In contrast, higher family incomes were significantly associated with the lack of caries experience in children (OR 1.22, 95%CI 1.01–1.50), but the mother’s level of education was not significantly associated with ECC.
Keywords: oral health; preschool children; body mass index; dental caries; socioeconomic status oral health; preschool children; body mass index; dental caries; socioeconomic status
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Costa, L.R.; Daher, A.; Queiroz, M.G. Early Childhood Caries and Body Mass Index in Young Children from Low Income Families. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 867-878.

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