Impact of socioeconomic inequalities on dental caries in deprived children: a multilevel analysis

Yanela Aravena-Rivas María José Monsalves Gerardo Espinoza-Espinoza Andrea Weitz Bárbara Hernández José Castillo Carlos Zaror

Impact of socioeconomic inequalities on dental caries in deprived children: a multilevel analysis

Authors: Yanela Aravena-Rivas María José Monsalves Gerardo Espinoza-Espinoza Andrea Weitz Bárbara Hernández José Castillo Carlos Zaror
doi: 10.1922/CDH_00020Aravena-Rivas06

Abstract

Objectives: Inequalities have been reported between high, middle and low socioeconomic position (SEP) children. However, the effect of contextual and individual SEP on existing inequalities among socioeconomically deprived children varies between local contexts. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of contextual and individual SEP on individual caries experience among socioeconomically deprived children in Chile. Methods: Cross-sectional multilevel analysis of data from the 2015 electronic register of the National Board of School Aid and Scholarships (JUNAEB) of Chile. The contextual variables were the municipality Human Development Index (HDI) and rurality index. Individual variables included gender, living in extreme poverty and school grade. Multilevel negative binomial models assessed their impact on DMFT/dmft. Results: 112,429 children in 255 municipalities were included. Overall, contextual SEP (HDI) was not associated with caries experience in the primary or permanent dentition. Individual SEP (living in extreme poverty) was associated with caries experience in both dentitions. The proportion of children living in extreme poverty with caries experience in the primary teeth was 17% higher than children not living in extreme poverty (PR 1.17; 95% CI 1.15-1.19), while for children with permanent teeth it was 9% higher (PR 1.09; 95% CI 1.08-1.11). Conclusion: These findings could support the development of health strategies focused on individual SEP to efficiently reduce oral health inequalities among socioeconomically deprived children. Keywords: Socioeconomic factors, child, poverty, caries

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