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1.  Prevalence of oral pain and barriers to use of emergency oral care facilities among adult Tanzanians 
BMC Oral Health  2008;8:28.
Oral pain has been the major cause of the attendances in the dental clinics in Tanzania. Some patients postpone seeing the dentist for as long as two to five days. This study determines the prevalence of oral pain and barriers to use of emergency oral care in Tanzania.
Questionnaire data were collected from 1,759 adult respondents aged 18 years and above. The study area covered six urban and eight rural study clusters, which had been selected using the WHO Pathfinder methodology. Chi-square tests and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify associations.
Forty two percent of the respondents had utilized the oral health care facilities sometimes in their lifetime. About 59% of the respondents revealed that they had suffered from oral pain and/or discomfort within the twelve months that preceded the study, but only 26.5% of these had sought treatment from oral health care facilities. The reasons for not seeking emergency care were: lack of money to pay for treatment (27.9%); self medication (17.6%); respondents thinking that pain would disappear with time (15.7%); and lack of money to pay for transport to the dental clinic (15.0%). Older adults were more likely to report that they had experienced oral pain during the last 12 months than the younger adults (OR = 1.57, CI 1.07–1.57, P < 0.001). Respondents from rural areas were more likely report dental clinics far from home (OR = 5.31, CI = 2.09–13.54, P < 0.001); self medication at home (OR = 3.65, CI = 2.25–5.94, P < 0.001); and being treated by traditional healer (OR = 5.31, CI = 2.25–12.49, P < 0.001) as reasons for not seeking emergency care from the oral health care facilities than their counterparts from urban areas.
Oral pain and discomfort were prevalent among adult Tanzanians. Only a quarter of those who experienced oral pain or discomfort sought emergency oral care from oral health care facilities. Self medication was used as an alternative to using oral care facilities mainly by rural residents. Establishing oral care facilities in rural areas is recommended.
PMCID: PMC2564914  PMID: 18822180
2.  Oral health behavior patterns among Tanzanian university students: a repeat cross-sectional survey 
BMC Oral Health  2001;1:2.
This study examines oral health behavioral trends and the development of sociodemographic differences in oral health behaviors among Tanzanian students between 1999 and 2000.
The population targeted was students attending the Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences (MUCHS) at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Cross-sectional surveys were conducted and a total of 635 and 981 students, respectively, completed questionnaires in 1999 and 2001.
Cross-tabulation analyses revealed that in 1999, the rates of abstinence from tobacco use, and of soft drink consumption, regular dental checkups, and intake of chocolate/candy were 84%, 51%, 48%, and 12%, respectively, among students of urban origin and 83%, 29%, 37%, and 5% among their rural counterparts. The corresponding rates in 2001 were 87%, 56%, 50%, and 9% among urban students and 84%, 44%, 38%, and 4% among rural ones. Multiple logistic regression analyses controlling for sex, age, place of origin, educational level, year of survey, and their interaction terms revealed a significant increase in the rate of soft drink consumption, implementation of oral hygiene measures, and abstinence from tobacco use between 1999 and 2001. Social inequalities observed in 1999, with urban students being more likely than their rural counterparts to take soft drinks and go for regular dental checkups, had leveled off by 2001.
This study provides initial evidence of oral health behavioral trends, that may be utilized in the planning of preventive programs among university students in Tanzania.
PMCID: PMC64501  PMID: 11782294
3.  Maternal oral health status and preterm low birth weight at Muhimbili National Hospital, Tanzania: a case-control study 
BMC Oral Health  2007;7:8.
The study examined the relationship between oral health status (periodontal disease and carious pulpal exposure (CPE)) and preterm low-birth-weight (PTLBW) infant deliveries among Tanzanian-African mothers at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), Tanzania.
A retrospective case-control study was conducted, involving 373 postpartum mothers aged 14–44 years (PTLBW – 150 cases) and at term normal-birth-weight (TNBW) – 223 controls), using structured questionnaire and full-mouth examination for periodontal and dentition status.
The mean number of sites with gingival bleeding was higher in PTLBW than in TNBW (P = 0.026). No significant differences were observed for sites with plaque, calculus, teeth with decay, missing, filling (DMFT) between PTLBW and TNBW. Controlling for known risk factors in all post-partum (n = 373), and primiparaous (n = 206) mothers, no significant differences were found regarding periodontal disease diagnosis threshold (PDT) (four sites or more that had probing periodontal pocket depth 4+mm and gingival bleeding ≥ 30% sites), and CPE between cases and controls. Significant risk factors for PTLBW among primi- and multiparous mothers together were age ≤ 19 years (adjusted Odds Ratio (aOR) = 2.09, 95% Confidence interval (95% CI): 1.18 – 3.67, P = 0.011), hypertension (aOR = 2.44, (95% CI): 1.20 – 4.93, P = 0.013) and being un-married (aOR = 1.59, (95% CI): 1.00 – 2.53, P = 0.049). For primiparous mothers significant risk factors for PTLBW were age ≤ 19 years (aOR = 2.07, 95% CI: 1.13 – 3.81, P = 0.019), and being un-married (aOR = 2.58, 95% CI: 1.42 – 4.67, P = 0.002).
These clinical findings show no evidence for periodontal disease or carious pulpal exposure being significant risk factors in PTLBW infant delivery among Tanzanian-Africans mothers at MNH, except for young age, hypertension, and being unmarried. Further research incorporating periodontal pathogens is recommended.
PMCID: PMC1924845  PMID: 17594498
4.  Oral health in a First Nations and a non-Aboriginal population in Manitoba 
International Journal of Circumpolar Health  2012;71:10.3402/ijch.v71i0.17394.
To analyze the prevalence of poor oral health and selected determinants in First Nations (FN) and Caucasian samples in Manitoba, Canada.
Study design
Cross-sectional survey, nested in a cohort study.
FN and Caucasian participants completed a questionnaire on socio-demographic variables, oral health symptoms, and oral health-related behaviours as part of a broader cohort study comparing these ethnic groups for different chronic immune mediated diseases.
Caucasians reported higher levels of employment, education, and urban dwelling than FNs (p<0.001). FNs reported smoking more, and having poorer oral health-related behaviours than Caucasians (p<0.001). After adjustment for age and sex, FN reported having more oral health symptoms than Caucasians (odds ratio (OR): 2.71; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.73, 4.52), but the association was reduced and not statistically significant after adjustment for other socio-demographic variables (OR=1.34; 95% CI: 0.58, 3.10). Oral health symptoms were associated with current smoking among FN (adjusted OR=2.67, 95% CI: 1.05, 6.78). Oral hygiene behaviours were significantly related to smoking status, rural living and education for both groups.
Oral health-related behaviours and smoking were found to be significant factors explaining poor oral health, which were lower for the FNs cohort than the Caucasian sample. However oral health and related behaviours were less related to their ethnicity than to socio-demographic factors, suggesting that policies to change behaviour will not result in lasting reductions in oral health differences between these groups in Manitoba.
PMCID: PMC3417699  PMID: 22456040
oral health; oral health-related behaviours; smoking; First Nations; social determinants
5.  Key health promotion factors among male members of staff at a higher educational institution: A cross-sectional postal survey 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:58.
Men's lifestyles are generally less healthy than women's. This study identifies associations between health-related behaviour in different groups of men working in a Higher Education (HE) institution. In addition, men were asked whether they regarded their health-related behaviours as a concern. This article highlights smoking, consumption of alcohol and physical activity as most common men's health-related lifestyle behaviours.
A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted among all male staff employed by a Higher Education institute in Scotland using a postal self-completed questionnaire. A total of 1,335 questionnaires were distributed and 501 were returned completed (38% return rate). The data were analysed using SPSS 13.0 for Windows.
Less than 10% currently smoked and almost 44% of these smokers were light smokers. Marital status, job title, consumption of alcohol and physical activity level were the major factors associated with smoking behaviour. Men in manual jobs were far more likely to smoke. Nearly all (90%) consumed alcohol, and almost 37% had more than recommended eight units of alcohol per day at least once a week and 16% had more than 21 units weekly. Younger men reported higher amount of units of alcohol on their heaviest day and per week. Approximately 80% were physically active, but less than 40% met the current Government guidelines for moderate physical activity. Most men wanted to increase their activity level.
There are areas of health-related behaviour, which should be addressed in populations of this kind. Needs assessment could indicate which public health interventions would be most appropriately aimed at this target group. However, the low response rate calls for some caution in interpreting our findings.
PMCID: PMC2270269  PMID: 18269744
6.  Adult Current Smoking: Differences in Definitions and Prevalence Estimates—NHIS and NSDUH, 2008 
Objectives. To compare prevalence estimates and assess issues related to the measurement of adult cigarette smoking in the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Methods. 2008 data on current cigarette smoking and current daily cigarette smoking among adults ≥18 years were compared. The standard NHIS current smoking definition, which screens for lifetime smoking ≥100 cigarettes, was used. For NSDUH, both the standard current smoking definition, which does not screen, and a modified definition applying the NHIS current smoking definition (i.e., with screen) were used. Results. NSDUH consistently yielded higher current cigarette smoking estimates than NHIS and lower daily smoking estimates. However, with use of the modified NSDUH current smoking definition, a notable number of subpopulation estimates became comparable between surveys. Younger adults and racial/ethnic minorities were most impacted by the lifetime smoking screen, with Hispanics being the most sensitive to differences in smoking variable definitions among all subgroups. Conclusions. Differences in current cigarette smoking definitions appear to have a greater impact on smoking estimates in some sub-populations than others. Survey mode differences may also limit intersurvey comparisons and trend analyses. Investigators are cautioned to use data most appropriate for their specific research questions.
PMCID: PMC3357540  PMID: 22649464
7.  Smoking trends among adolescents from 1990 to 2002 in ten European countries and Canada 
BMC Public Health  2006;6:280.
Daily smoking adolescents are a public health problem as they are more likely to become adult smokers and to develop smoking-related health problems later on in their lives.
The study is part of the four-yearly, cross-national Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study, a school-based survey on a nationally representative sample using a standardised methodology. Data of 4 survey periods are available (1990–2002). Gender-specific daily smoking trends among 14–15 year olds are examined using logistic regressions. Sex ratios are calculated for each survey period and country. Interaction effects between period and gender are examined.
Daily smoking prevalence in boys in 2002 ranges from 5.5% in Sweden to 20.0% in Latvia. Among girls, the daily smoking prevalence in 2002 ranges from 8.9% in Poland to 24.7% in Austria. Three daily smoking trend groups are identified: countries with a declining or stagnating trend, countries with an increasing trend followed by a decreasing trend, and countries with an increasing trend. These trend groups show a geographical pattern, but are not linked to smoking prevalence. Over the 4 surveys, the sex ratio has changed in Belgium, Switzerland, and Latvia.
Among adolescents in Europe, three groups of countries in a different stage of the smoking epidemic curve can be identified, with girls being in an earlier stage than boys. In 2002, large differences in smoking prevalence between the countries have been observed. This predicts a high mortality due to smoking over 20–30 years for some countries, if no policy interventions are taken.
PMCID: PMC1654156  PMID: 17096837
8.  Health-related quality of life and needs of care and support of adult Tanzanians with cancer: a mixed-methods study 
Cancer is among the three leading causes of death in low income countries and the highest increase with regard to incidence figures for cancer diseases are found in these countries. This is the first report of the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and needs of care and support of adult Tanzanians with cancer.
A mixed-methods design was used. The study was conducted at Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. One hundred and one patients with a variety of cancer diagnoses treated and cared for at ORCI answered the Kiswahili version of the EORTC QLQ-C30 investigating HRQOL. Thirty-two of the patients participated in focus group interviews discussing needs of care and support. Data from focus group interviews were analyzed with content analysis.
The findings show that the patients, both women and men, report a low quality of life, especially with regard to physical, role, and social function and a high level of symptoms and problems especially with financial difficulties and pain. Financial difficulties are reported to a remarkably high extent by both women and men. The patients, both women and men report least problems with emotional function. A content analysis of the interview data revealed needs of food and water, hygienic needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, financial needs, and needs of closeness to cancer care and treatment services.
The high score for pain points out that ORCI is facing severe challenges regarding care and treatment. However, when considering this finding it should be noted that the pain subscale of the Kiswahili version of the EORTC QLQ-C30 did not reach acceptable internal consistency and showed less than satisfactory convergent validity. This also applies to the subscales cognitive function and global health/quality of life. Attention should be drawn to meet the identified needs of Tanzanian cancer patients while hospitalized but also when at home. Increased accessibility of mosquito nets, pads, and pain-killers would help to fulfil some needs.
PMCID: PMC3541157  PMID: 23121718
Cancer; Care; Health-related quality of life; Support; Tanzania
9.  The decentralisation-centralisation dilemma: recruitment and distribution of health workers in remote districts of Tanzania 
The implementation of decentralisation reforms in the health sector of Tanzania started in the 1980s. These reforms were intended to relinquish substantial powers and resources to districts to improve the development of the health sector. Little is known about the impact of decentralisation on recruitment and distribution of health workers at the district level. Reported difficulties in recruiting health workers to remote districts led the Government of Tanzania to partly re-instate central recruitment of health workers in 2006. The effects of this policy change are not yet documented. This study highlights the experiences and challenges associated with decentralisation and the partial re-centralisation in relation to the recruitment and distribution of health workers.
An exploratory qualitative study was conducted among informants recruited from five underserved, remote districts of mainland Tanzania. Additional informants were recruited from the central government, the NGO sector, international organisations and academia. A comparison of decentralised and the reinstated centralised systems was carried out in order to draw lessons necessary for improving recruitment, distribution and retention of health workers.
The study has shown that recruitment of health workers under a decentralised arrangement has not only been characterised by complex bureaucratic procedures, but by severe delays and sometimes failure to get the required health workers. The study also revealed that recruitment of highly skilled health workers under decentralised arrangements may be both very difficult and expensive. Decentralised recruitment was perceived to be more effective in improving retention of the lower cadre health workers within the districts. In contrast, the centralised arrangement was perceived to be more effective both in recruiting qualified staff and balancing their distribution across districts, but poor in ensuring the retention of employees.
A combination of centralised and decentralised recruitment represents a promising hybrid form of health sector organisation in managing human resources by bringing the benefits of two worlds together. In order to ensure that the potential benefits of the two approaches are effectively integrated, careful balancing defining the local-central relationships in the management of human resources needs to be worked out.
PMCID: PMC2688480  PMID: 19405958
10.  Design, implementation and evaluation of a national campaign to deliver 18 million free long-lasting insecticidal nets to uncovered sleeping spaces in Tanzania 
Malaria Journal  2013;12:85.
Since 2004, the Tanzanian National Voucher Scheme has increased availability and accessibility of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) to pregnant women and infants by subsidizing the cost of nets purchased. From 2008 to 2010, a mass distribution campaign delivered nine million long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) free-of-charge to children under-five years of age in Tanzania mainland. In 2010 and 2011, a Universal Coverage Campaign (UCC) led by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW) was implemented to cover all sleeping spaces not yet reached through previous initiatives.
The UCC was coordinated through a unit within the National Malaria Control Programme. Partners were contracted by the MoHSW to implement different activities in collaboration with local government authorities. Volunteers registered the number of uncovered sleeping spaces in every household in the country. On this basis, LLINs were ordered and delivered to village level, where they were issued over a three-day period in each zone (three regions). Household surveys were conducted in seven districts immediately after the campaign to assess net ownership and use.
The UCC was chiefly financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria with important contributions from the US President’s Malaria Initiative. A total of 18.2 million LLINs were delivered at an average cost of USD 5.30 per LLIN. Overall, 83% of the expenses were used for LLIN procurement and delivery and 17% for campaign associated activities. Preliminary results of the latest Tanzania HIV Malaria Indicator Survey (2011–12) show that household ownership of at least one ITN increased to 91.5%. ITN use, among children under-five years of age, improved to 72.7% after the campaign. ITN ownership and use data post-campaign indicated high equity across wealth quintiles.
Close collaboration among the MoHSW, donors, contracted partners, local government authorities and volunteers made it possible to carry out one of the largest LLIN distribution campaigns conducted in Africa to date. Through the strong increase of ITN use, the recent activities of the national ITN programme will likely result in further decline in child mortality rates in Tanzania, helping to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4 and 6.
PMCID: PMC3599368  PMID: 23496881
Malaria; Vector control; Insecticide-treated nets; Long-lasting insecticidal nets; Distribution campaign; Tanzania
11.  "A Latino Advantage in Oral Health-Related Quality of Life is Modified by Nativity Status" 
Social science & medicine (1982)  2010;71(1):205-211.
Explanations for the social gradient in health status are informed by the rare exceptions. This cross-sectional observational study examined one such exception, the “Latino paradox” by investigating the presence of a Latino advantage in oral health-related quality of life and the effect of nativity status on this relationship. A nationally representative sample of adults (n = 4208) completed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003–2004. The impact of oral disorders on oral health-related quality of life was evaluated using the NHANES Oral Health Impact Profile. Exposures of interest were race, ethnicity and nativity status. Covariates included sociodemographic characteristics, smoking status, self-rated health, access to dental care and number of teeth. Unconditional logistic regression models estimated odds of impaired oral health-related quality of life for racial/ethnic and nativity groups compared to the Non-Latino white population. Overall prevalence of impaired oral health-related quality of life was 15.1%. A protective effect of Latino ethnicity was modified by nativity status, such that Latino immigrants experienced substantially better outcomes than non-Latino whites. However the effect was limited to first-generation Latinos. U.S. born Latinos did not share the oral health-related quality of life advantage of their foreign-born counterparts. This advantage was not attributable to the healthy migrant phenomenon since immigrants of non-Latino origin did not differ from Non-Latino whites. The excess risk among Non-Hispanic Blacks was rendered non-significant after adjustment for socioeconomic position. A protective effect conferred by Latino nativity is unexpected given relatively disadvantaged socioeconomic position of this group, their language barrier and restrictions to needed dental care. As the Latino advantage in oral health-related quality of life is not explained by healthy immigrant selection, cultural explanations seem more likely than explanations based on characteristics of individuals.
PMCID: PMC2885514  PMID: 20434250
USA; Acculturation; Hispanic; Disparities; Epidemiology; Social Class; Oral Health; nativity; Latino paradox; ethnicity
12.  Personality scores and smoking behaviour. A longitudinal study. 
The personality scores at 16 years of age of 2753 people, all members of the National Survey of Health and Development, were related, in a follow-up study, to cigarette smoking behaviour in their young adult years. Survey members who recorded high neuroticism scores were found to be more likely to smoke than those with low scores and, among the smokers, deep inhalers formed the most neurotic group. Extraverts were more likely to smoke than introverts, the mean extraversion score being greatest for the male smokers with a high daily consumption of cigarettes. The personality scores were found to have some power in predicting changes in smoking behaviour. Neurotics and extraverts who had not started to smoke by the time of completing the personality inventory at 16 were more likely than the stable and introverted to take up the habit subsequently. Among survey members who were regular smokers at the time of completing the personality inventory the proportion giving up smoking by the time they reached the age of 25 years was related to consumption level recorded at 20 years and the personality scores recorded at 16, stable extraverts among the men being most likely to stop smoking.
PMCID: PMC478950  PMID: 953376
13.  The clustering of health behaviours in Ireland and their relationship with mental health, self-rated health and quality of life 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:692.
Health behaviours do not occur in isolation. Rather they cluster together. It is important to examine patterns of health behaviours to inform a more holistic approach to health in both health promotion and illness prevention strategies. Examination of patterns is also important because of the increased risk of mortality, morbidity and synergistic effects of health behaviours. This study examines the clustering of health behaviours in a nationally representative sample of Irish adults and explores the association of these clusters with mental health, self-rated health and quality of life.
TwoStep Cluster analysis using SPSS was carried out on the SLÁN 2007 data (national Survey of Lifestyle, Attitudes and Nutrition, n = 10,364; response rate =62%; food frequency n = 9,223; cluster analysis n = 7,350). Patterns of smoking, drinking alcohol, physical activity and diet were considered. Associations with positive and negative mental health, quality of life and self-rated health were assessed.
Six health behaviour clusters were identified: Former Smokers, 21.3% (n = 1,564), Temperate, 14.6% (n = 1,075), Physically Inactive, 17.8% (n = 1,310), Healthy Lifestyle, 9.3% (n = 681), Multiple Risk Factor, 17% (n = 1248), and Mixed Lifestyle, 20% (n = 1,472). Cluster profiles varied with men aged 18-29 years, in the lower social classes most likely to adopt unhealthy behaviour patterns. In contrast, women from the higher social classes and aged 65 years and over were most likely to be in the Healthy Lifestyle cluster. Having healthier patterns of behaviour was associated with positive lower levels of psychological distress and higher levels of energy vitality.
The current study identifies discernible patterns of lifestyle behaviours in the Irish population which are similar to those of our European counterparts. Healthier clusters (Former Smokers, Temperate and Healthy Lifestyle) reported higher levels of energy vitality, lower levels of psychological distress, better self-rated health and better quality of life. In contrast, those in the Multiple Risk Factor cluster had the lowest levels of energy and vitality and the highest levels of psychological distress. Identification of these discernible patterns because of their relationship with mortality, morbidity and longevity is important for identifying national and international health behaviour patterns.
PMCID: PMC3187756  PMID: 21896196
14.  Dental caries prevalence, oral health knowledge and practice among indigenous Chepang school children of Nepal 
BMC Oral Health  2013;13:20.
Chepang communities are one of the most deprived ethnic communities in Nepal. According to the National Pathfinder Survey, dental caries is a highly prevalent childhood disease in Nepal. There is no data concerning the prevalence of caries along with knowledge, attitude and oral hygiene practices among Chepang schoolchildren. The objectives of this study were to 1) record the prevalence of dental caries 2) report experience of dental pain 3) evaluate knowledge, attitude and preventive practices on oral health of primary Chepang schoolchildren.
A cross sectional epidemiological study was conducted in 5 government Primary schools of remote Chandibhanjyang Village Development Committee (VDC) in Chitwan district. Ethical approval was taken from the Institutional Review Board within the Research Department of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Tribhuvan University. Consent was obtained from parents for conducting clinical examination and administrating questionnaire. Permission was taken from the school principal in all schools. Data was collected using a pretested questionnaire on 131 schoolchildren aged 8-16-year- olds attending Grade 3–5. Clinical examination was conducted on 361 school children aged 5–16 –year-olds attending grade 1–5. Criteria set by the World Health Organization (1997) was used for caries diagnosis. The questionnaires, originally constructed in English and translated into Nepali were administered to the schoolchildren by the researchers. SPSS 11software was used for data analysis.
Caries prevalence for 5–6 –year-old was above the goals recommended by WHO and Federation of Dentistry international (FDI) of less than 50% caries free children. Caries prevalence in 5-6-year-olds was 52% and 12-13-year-olds was 41%. The mean dmft/DMFT score of 5–6 –year-olds and 12 -13-year -olds was 1.59, 0.31 and 0.52, 0.84 respectively. The DMFT scores increased with age and the d/D component constituted almost the entire dmft/DMFT index. About 31% of 8-16-year-olds school children who participated in the survey reported having suffered from oral pain. Further, the need for treatment of decayed teeth was reported at 100%. About 76% children perceived teeth as an important component of general health and 75% reported it was required to eat. A total 93% children never visited a dentist or a health care service. Out of 56% children reporting cleaning their teeth daily, only 24% reported brushing their teeth twice daily. About 86% of the children reported using toothbrush and toothpaste to clean their teeth. Although 61% children reported to have received oral health education, 82% children did not know about fluoride and its benefit on dental health. About 50% children reported bacteria as the main cause of tooth decay and 23% as not brushing teeth for gingivitis. Frequency of sugar exposure was low; 75% of children reported eating sugar rich food once daily.
Caries prevalence of 5–6 –year- old Chepang school children is above the recommended target set by FDI/WHO. The study reported 31% schoolchildren aged 8-16-year old suffered oral pain and decayed component constituted almost the entire dmft/DMFT index. The brushing habit was reportedly low with only 24% of the children brushing twice daily. A nationwide scientifically proven, cost effective school based interventions is needed for prevention and control of caries in schoolchildren in Nepal.
PMCID: PMC3655880  PMID: 23672487
Dental caries; School children; Oral hygiene
15.  Differences in Self-Reported Oral Health Among Community-Dwelling Black, Hispanic, and White Elders 
Journal of aging and health  2010;23(2):267-288.
To compare differences in self-rated oral health among community-dwelling Black, Hispanic, and White adults aged 60 and older.
A total of 4,859 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999–2004) provided self-report information on oral health.
Blacks and Hispanics reported poorer self-rated oral health than Whites. In separate dentate and edentulous groups, socioeconomic status, social support, physical health, clinical oral health outcomes, and dental checkups accounted for much of the difference in self-rated oral health in Blacks, but significant differences remained for Hispanics.
The study findings may have important implications for health policy and program development. Programs and services designed for minority populations should target treatments for dental diseases and include components that take into account subjective evaluations of oral health conditions and perceived dental needs of the individuals.
PMCID: PMC3129602  PMID: 20858912
Hispanic health; African Americans; social factors; geriatrics
16.  Equity of inpatient health care in rural Tanzania: a population- and facility-based survey 
To explore the equity of utilization of inpatient health care at rural Tanzanian health centers through the use of a short wealth questionnaire.
Patients admitted to four rural health centers in the Kigoma Region of Tanzania from May 2008 to May 2009 were surveyed about their illness, asset ownership and demographics. Principal component analysis was used to compare the wealth of the inpatients to the wealth of the region's general population, using data from a previous population-based survey.
Among inpatients, 15.3% were characterized as the most poor, 19.6% were characterized as very poor, 16.5% were characterized as poor, 18.9% were characterized as less poor, and 29.7% were characterized as the least poor. The wealth distribution of all inpatients (p < 0.0001), obstetric inpatients (p < 0.0001), other inpatients (p < 0.0001), and fee-exempt inpatients (p < 0.001) were significantly different than the wealth distribution in the community population, with poorer patients underrepresented among inpatients. The wealth distribution of pediatric inpatients (p = 0.2242) did not significantly differ from the population at large.
The findings indicated that while current Tanzanian health financing policies may have improved access to health care for children under five, additional policies are needed to further close the equity gap, especially for obstetric inpatients.
PMCID: PMC3292935  PMID: 22333044
17.  A progressive declining in the burden of malaria in north-eastern Tanzania 
Malaria Journal  2010;9:216.
The planning and assessment of malaria interventions is complicated due to fluctuations in the burden of malaria over time. Recently, it has been reported that the burden of malaria in some parts of Africa has declined. However, community-based longitudinal data are sparse and the reasons for the apparent decline are not well understood.
Malaria prevalence and morbidity have been monitored in two villages in north-eastern Tanzania; a lowland village and a highland village from 2003 to 2008. Trained village health workers treated presumptive malaria with the Tanzanian first-line anti-malarial drug and collected blood smears that were examined later. The prevalence of malaria parasitaemia across years was monitored through cross-sectional surveys.
The prevalence of malaria parasitaemia in the lowland village decreased from 78.4% in 2003 to 13.0% in 2008, whereas in the highland village, the prevalence of parasitaemia dropped from 24.7% to 3.1% in the same period. Similarly, the incidence of febrile malaria episodes in the two villages dropped by almost 85% during the same period and there was a marked reduction in the number of young children who suffered from anaemia in the lowland village.
There has been a marked decline in malaria in the study villages during the past few years. This decline is likely to be due to a combination of factors that include improved access to malaria treatment provided by the trained village helpers, protection from mosquitoes by increased availability of insecticide-impregnated bed nets and a reduced vector density. If this decline in malaria morbidity is sustained, it will have a marked effect on the disease burden in this part of Tanzania.
PMCID: PMC2920289  PMID: 20650014
18.  Ethnic Disparities in Self-Reported Oral Health Status and Access to Care among Older Adults in NYC 
There is a growing burden of oral disease among older adults that is most significantly borne by minorities, the poor, and immigrants. Yet, national attention to oral heath disparities has focused almost exclusively on children, resulting in large gaps in our knowledge about the oral health risks of older adults and their access to care. The projected growth of the minority and immigrant elderly population as a proportion of older adults heightens the urgency of exploring and addressing factors associated with oral health-related disparities. In 2008, the New York City Health Indicators Project (HIP) conducted a survey of a representative sample of 1,870 adults over the age of 60 who attended a random selection of 56 senior centers in New York City. The survey included questions related to oral health status. This study used the HIP database to examine differences in self-reported dental status, dental care utilization, and dental insurance, by race/ethnicity, among community-dwelling older adults. Non-Hispanic White respondents reported better dental health, higher dental care utilization, and higher satisfaction with dental care compared to all other racial/ethnic groups. Among minority older adults, Chinese immigrants were more likely to report poor dental health, were less likely to report dental care utilization and dental insurance, and were less satisfied with their dental care compared to all other racial/ethnic groups. Language fluency was significantly related to access to dental care among Chinese immigrants. Among a diverse community-dwelling population of older adults in New York City, we found significant differences by race/ethnicity in factors related to oral health. Greater attention is needed in enhancing the cultural competency of providers, addressing gaps in oral health literacy, and reducing language barriers that impede access to care.
PMCID: PMC3157507  PMID: 21850607
Oral health; Older adults; Access to care
19.  Healthy lifestyle behaviour among Ghanaian adults in the phase of a health policy change 
Many countries have adopted health policies that are targeted at reducing the risk factors for chronic non-communicable diseases. These policies promote a healthy population by encouraging people to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviours. This paper examines healthy lifestyle behaviour among Ghanaian adults by comparing behaviours before and after the introduction of a national health policy. The paper also explores the socio-economic and demographic factors associated with healthy lifestyle behaviour.
Descriptive, bivariate and multivariate regression techniques were employed on two nationally representative surveys (2003 World Health Survey (Ghana) and 2008 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey) to arrive at the results.
While the prevalence of some negative lifestyle behaviours like smoking has reduced others like alcohol consumption has increased. Relatively fewer people adhered to consuming the recommended amount of fruit and vegetable servings per day in 2008 compared to 2003. While more females (7.0%) exhibited healthier lifestyles, more males (9.0%) exhibited risky lifestyle behaviours after the introduction of the policy.
The improvement in healthy lifestyle behaviours among female adult Ghanaians will help promote healthy living and potentially lead to a reduction in the prevalence of obesity among Ghanaian women. The increase in risky lifestyle behaviour among adult male Ghanaians even after the introduction of the health policy could lead to an increase in the risk of non-communicable diseases among men and the resultant burden of disease on them and their families will push more people into poverty.
PMCID: PMC3090331  PMID: 21473779
20.  Smoking behaviour in Taiwan, 2001 
Tobacco Control  2005;14(Suppl 1):i51-i55.
Purpose: To examine smoking behaviours in Taiwan and compare those behaviours to those in the USA.
Methods: Using the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) of Taiwan (2001), a survey of over 20 000 participants, frequencies were calculated for smoking, ex-smoking, quantity smoked, and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Breakdowns by age, sex, and socioeconomic status were also calculated.
Results: The ratio of male to female smoking rates was 10.9 to 1 among adults (46.8%/4.3%), but 3.6 to 1 among underage teenagers (14.3%/4.0%). The proportion of underage to adult smokers was three times higher for girls than for boys. Smoking prevalence substantially increased during and after high school years, and peaked in those aged 30–39 years. Smoking rates of high school age adolescents increased more than threefold if they did not attend school or if they finished their education after high school. Low income and less educated smokers smoked at nearly twice the rate of high income and better educated smokers. The smoker/ex-smoker ratio was close to 7. Male daily smokers smoked on average 17 cigarettes/day, and females, 11. Half of the total population, especially infants and women of childbearing age, were exposed to ETS at home.
Conclusions: Taiwan has particularly high male smoking prevalence and much lower female prevalence. The low female prevalence is likely to increase if the current sex ratio of smoking by underage youth continues. The low quit rate among males, the high ETS exposure of females and young children at home, and the sharp increase in smoking rates when students leave school, are of particular concern. These observations on smoking behaviour can provide valuable insights to assist policymakers and health educators in formulating strategies and allocating resources in tobacco control.
PMCID: PMC1766183  PMID: 15923450
21.  Socioeconomic gradient shifts in health-related behaviour among Slovak adolescents between 1998 and 2006 
We aimed to assess the development of the socioeconomic gradient in health-related behaviour (HRB) among Slovak adolescents between 1998 and 2006.
Data were collected in 1998 (n = 2,616; 14.9 ± 0.6 years) and in 2006 (n = 1,081; 14.3 ± 0.6 years). ORs of socioeconomic differences—as measured by parental education—were calculated for each cohort in smoking, alcohol consumption and physical inactivity, and the interactions of socioeconomic position and the time period on these behaviours were calculated.
The higher odds of smoking in the low socioeconomic group compared to the high socioeconomic group decreased among boys (interaction OR 0.54), but became evident among girls (interaction OR 1.96). In alcohol consumption, no socioeconomic differences were found among boys, but the higher odds among girls from high socioeconomic position compared with those from low socioeconomic position disappeared in 2006. In physical inactivity, socioeconomic differences increased among boys but not among girls.
During this period, socioeconomic differences in HRB developed in a different way among boys than among girls. Prevalence rates in substance use increased especially among girls from the low socioeconomic group. This group should be particularly targeted by prevention programs.
PMCID: PMC3607714  PMID: 22735992
Socioeconomic differences; Health-related behaviour; Adolescents; Smoking; Alcohol; Physical inactivity
22.  Impact of the graphic Canadian warning labels on adult smoking behaviour 
Tobacco Control  2003;12(4):391-395.
Objective: To assess the impact of graphic Canadian cigarette warning labels on current adult smokers.
Design: A random-digit-dial telephone survey was conducted with 616 adult smokers in south western Ontario, Canada in October/November 2001, with three month follow up.
Main outcome measures: Smoking behaviour (quitting, quit attempts, and reduced smoking), intentions to quit, and salience of the warning labels.
Results: Virtually all smokers (91%) reported having read the warning labels and smokers demonstrated a thorough knowledge of their content. A strong positive relation was observed between a measure of cognitive processing—the extent to which smokers reported reading, thinking about, and discussing the new labels—and smokers' intentions to quit (odds ratio (OR) 1.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07 to 1.16; p < 0.001). Most important, cognitive processing predicted cessation behaviour at follow up. Smokers who had read, thought about, and discussed the new labels at baseline were more likely to have quit, made a quit attempt, or reduced their smoking three months later, after adjusting for intentions to quit and smoking status at baseline (OR 1.07, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.12; p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Graphic cigarette warning labels serve as an effective population based smoking cessation intervention. The findings add to the growing literature on health warnings and provide strong support for the effectiveness of Canada's tobacco labelling policy.
PMCID: PMC1747800  PMID: 14660774
23.  Cigarette smoking and tooth loss experience among young adults: a national record linkage study 
BMC Public Health  2007;7:313.
Various factors affect tooth loss in older age including cigarette smoking; however, evidence regarding the association between smoking and tooth loss during young adulthood is limited. The present study examined the association between cigarette smoking and tooth loss experience among adults aged 20–39 years using linked data from two national databases in Japan.
Two databases of the National Nutrition Survey (NNS) and the Survey of Dental Diseases (SDD), which were conducted in 1999, were obtained from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare with permission for analytical use. In the NNS, participants received physical examinations and were interviewed regarding dietary intake and health practices including cigarette smoking, whereas in the SDD, participants were asked about their frequency of daily brushing, and received oral examinations by certified dentists. Among 6,805 records electronically linked via household identification code, 1314 records of individuals aged 20 to 39 years were analyzed. The prevalence of 1+ tooth loss was compared among non-, former, and current smokers. Multiple logistic regression models were constructed including confounders: frequency of tooth brushing, body mass index, alcohol consumption, and intake of vitamins C and E.
Smoking rates differed greatly in men (53.3%) and women (15.5%). The overall prevalence of tooth loss was 31.4% (31.8% men and 31.1% women). Tooth loss occurred more frequently among current smokers (40.6%) than former (23.1%) and non-smokers (27.9%). Current smoking showed a significant association with 1+ tooth loss in men (adjusted OR = 2.21 [1.40–3.50], P = 0.0007) and women (1.70 [1.13–2.55], P = 0.0111). A significant positive exposure-related relationship between cigarette smoking status and tooth loss was observed (P for trend < 0.0001 and 0.0004 in men and women, respectively). Current smoking was also associated with the prevalence of decayed teeth (1.67 [1.28–2.20], P = 0.0002).
An association between cigarette smoking and tooth loss was evident among young adults throughout Japan. Due to limitations of the available variables in the present databases, further studies including caries experience and its confounders should be conducted to examine whether smoking is a true risk of premature tooth loss in young adults.
PMCID: PMC2186324  PMID: 17976246
24.  How Do Age and Tooth Loss Affect Oral Health Impacts and Quality of Life? A Study Comparing Two State Samples of Gujarat and Rajasthan 
Age and tooth loss are expected to have a complex relationship with oral health-related quality of life. So the purpose of this study was to explain the impact of age and tooth loss on oral health-related quality of life using the short form 14-item oral health impact profile (OHIP-14) among two population samples of Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Materials and Methods:
A cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey was conducted among 1441 subjects collected from two major cities of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Both questionnaire approaches using OHIP-14 scale and clinical examination were conducted in accordance with WHO criteria using type III procedure on the same day. Chi square test, ANOVA and stepwise multiple regression analysis were applied using SPSS software version 15.0.
With the increase of age, OHIP mean score in both states increased, but that among Rajasthan state was higher, depicting poor oral health. Whereas, in the remaining 23–27 number of teeth both states showed higher OHIP mean, however again the score was much higher among Rajasthan subjects showing worse oral hygiene. Hence, overall all mean OHIP score for Gujarat was lower indicating good oral health; whereas, that among Rajasthan was higher indicating poor oral health-related quality of life.
Both age and tooth loss are associated with each other, but they have an independent effect on the oral health-related quality of life. Thus, all studied populations with complete natural dentition showed good oral health-related quality of life.
PMCID: PMC3466767  PMID: 23066478
Age Distribution; Tooth Loss; Oral Health; Quality of Life
25.  Oral manifestations of HIV infection in children and adults receiving highly active anti-retroviral therapy [HAART] in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 
BMC Oral Health  2006;6:12.
The aim of the study was to compare the prevalence and types of HIV-related oral lesions between children and adult Tanzanian patients on HAART with those not on HAART and to relate the occurrence of the lesions with anti-HIV drug regimen, clinical stage of HIV disease and CD4+ cell count.
Participants were 532 HIV infected patients, 51 children and 481 adults, 165 males and 367 females. Children were aged 2–17 years and adults 18 and 67 years. Participants were recruited consecutively at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) HIV clinic from October 2004 to September 2005. Investigations included; interviews, physical examinations, HIV testing and enumeration of CD4+ T cells.
A total of 237 HIV-associated oral lesions were observed in 210 (39.5%) patients. Oral candidiasis was the commonest (23.5%), followed by mucosal hyperpigmentation (4.7%). There was a significant difference in the occurrence of oral candidiasis (χ2 = 4.31; df = 1; p = 0.03) and parotid enlargement (χ2 = 36.5; df = 1; p = 0.04) between children and adults. Adult patients who were on HAART had a significantly lower risk of; oral lesions (OR = 0.32; 95% CI = 0.22 – 0.47; p = 0.005), oral candidiasis (OR = 0.28; 95% CI = 0.18 – 0.44; p = 0.003) and oral hairy leukoplakia (OR = 0.18; 95% CI = 0.04 – 0.85; p = 0.03). There was no significant reduction in occurrence of oral lesions in children on HAART (OR = 0.35; 95% CI = 0.11–1.14; p = 0.15). There was also a significant association between the presence of oral lesions and CD4+ cell count < 200 cell/mm3 (χ2 = 52.4; df = 2; p = 0.006) and with WHO clinical stage (χ2 = 121; df = 3; p = 0.008). Oral lesions were also associated with tobacco smoking (χ2 = 8.17; df = 2; p = 0.04).
Adult patients receiving HAART had a significantly lower prevalence of oral lesions, particularly oral candidiasis and oral hairy leukoplakia. There was no significant change in occurrence of oral lesions in children receiving HAART. The occurrence of oral lesions, in both HAART and non-HAART patients, correlated with WHO clinical staging and CD4+ less than 200 cells/mm3.
PMCID: PMC1559688  PMID: 16916469

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