March 2011

Volume 28, Issue 1

Health-related lifestyle behaviours, socio-demographic charac-teristics and use of dental health services in Greek adults.

Authors: Y. Tountas C. Tzavara H. Koletsi-Kounari
doi: 10.1922/CDH_ 2474Kounari06


Objective. To investigate the association between certain socio-demographic characteristics, health-related lifestyle behaviors and the use of dental services in Greek adult population. Basic research design. A total of 1,005 adults from all the geographical areas of Greece were randomly selected and interviewed. Gender, age, place of residence, marital and socioeconomic status, educational level, obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, adherence to Mediterranean diet were recorded and associated with the use of dental services. Results. Almost one half of the participants (47%) visited a dentist during the past 12 months. Only 31.7% of the visits were for a regular dental check up. Subjects belonging to high socioeconomic status were 1.86 times more likely to visit a dentist in the past 12 months, while those aged more than 56 years and with low educational level were less likely to visit a dentist in the past 12 months with odds ratios equal to 0.63 and 0.73, respectively. Physically inactive (OR=0.59; 95% CI: 0.38-0.93) and obese subjects (OR=0.48; 95% CI: 0.24-0.97) were less likely to visit the dentist for a regular dental check up. Additionally, high socioeconomic status and healthier diet were associated with greater likelihood for visiting the dentist for a regular dental check up. Conclusions.Socio-demographic factors including age, education and social status are strong determinants of dental health services utilization in Greece. In addition, health-related lifestyle behaviors and conditions such as healthy diet, physical activity and obesity might be good predictors of regular check up or symptomatic dental visits. Key words: Dental utilization, Greek adults, lifestyle behaviors, Mediterranean diet, obesity, physical activity, socio-demographic factors

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