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Socioeconomic inequalities in adult oral health across different ethnic groups in England

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article number85
JournalHealth and quality of life outcomes
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2019

King's Authors

Abstract

Background: Ethnic inequalities in oral health among British adults remain largely unexplored. This study explored the role of socioeconomic position (SEP) in explaining ethnic inequalities in oral health; and the consistency of socioeconomic inequalities in oral health across ethnic groups. Methods: Data from 45,599 adults, aged 16 years and over, who participated in the Health Survey for England were pooled across 5 years. The seven ethnic groups included were White British, Irish, Black Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Chinese. Edentulousness and toothache were the outcome measures. A composite measure of SEP was developed based on education, social class, income and economic activity using confirmatory factor analysis. Ethnic inequalities in oral health were assessed in logistic regression adjusting for sex, age, survey year and SEP. Results: Indian (OR: 0.55, 95%CI: 0.40-0.76), Pakistani (0.56, 0.38-0.83), Bangladeshi (0.35, 0.23-0.52) and Chinese (0.41, 0.25-0.66) were less likely to be edentulous than White British after controlling for SEP. Irish (1.22, 1.06-1.39) and Caribbean (1.37, 1.19-1.58) were more likely and Bangladeshi (0.83, 0.69-0.99) were less likely to have toothache than White British after controlling for SEP. Socioeconomic inequalities in edentulousness were consistently found across almost all ethnic groups while socioeconomic inequalities in toothache were found among White British and Irish only. Conclusion: This study shows that the role of SEP in explaining ethnic inequalities in oral health depended on the outcome being investigated. Socioeconomic inequalities in oral health among minority ethnic groups did not consistently reflect the patterns found in White British.

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