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Association between body mass index and dental caries among special care female children in Makkah City

Nisreen Adnan Ashour,a Amal Adnan Ashour,b Sakeena Bashab

From the aAdministration of Public Education, School Health Department, School Health Centre, General Dentistry, Makkah, Saudi Arabia; bFaculty of Dentistry, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia

How to cite this article:

Ashour NA, Ashour AA, Basha S. Association between body mass index and dental caries among special care female children in Makkah City. Ann Saudi Med 2018; 38(1): 508-515.

DOI: 10.5144/0256-4947.2017.31.12.1515



BACKGROUND: Dental caries and obesity are multifactorial diseases with diet being a common contributory factor.


OBJECTIVE: The main purpose of the present study was to investigate the association between dental caries and obesity among special care female school children in Makkah City, Saudi Arabia.


DESIGN: Analytical cross-sectional study.


SETTING: Special schools in Makkah City.


STUDY POPULATION AND METHODS: Schools were chosen by lottery and female children were ran.domly selected. Dental caries detection was performed according to the World Health Organization criteria. The medical evaluation assessed the body mass index (BMI). 


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: With appropriate sample weighting, relationships between dmft/DMFT (decayed, missing, filled teeth for deciduous and permanent dentition) and obesity were assessed using multilevel logistic regression. 


RESULTS: In 275 special care children, the prevalence of dental caries was 56.7 percent. The mean dmft and DMFT scores for the entire study population were 3.9 (4.8) and 3.2 (4.1), respectively. Forty percent of children were mentally retarded, 22.2% presented with deafness, blindness or both, 18.9% presented with Down syndrome and 14.9% were autistic. From the total sample, the mean BMI was 20.2 (2.8). When adjusted for covariates, the logistic regression model showed strong association between caries and obesity (adjusted odds ratio=2.9; 95% CI=1.2-4.9). 


CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated a significant association between caries frequency and overweight/obesity in special care school children. 


LIMITATIONS: Since the data was cross-sectional, causal relationships cannot be established and the observed association could be due to other unexplored factors. Because of cultural and ethical consideration, including segregation of gender in Saudi Arabia, only female children were included in the present study, which limited the findings. 


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