The Socioeconomic Inequality in Increment of Caries and Growth among Chinese Children

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: This study aimed at assessing socioeconomic inequalities in the increment of dental caries and growth among preschool Chinese children, and to assess the best predictor of socioeconomic inequality for each of these conditions.

METHODS: This is a longitudinal population-based study. The sample data included preschool children living in three cities of the Liaoning Province, China. At baseline, 15 kindergartens with 1111 participants were included and dropped to 772 with a response rate of 70% at follow-up. Mean ages at baseline and follow-up were 50.82 and 60.55 months, respectively. Median follow-up time was 10.12 months. Data were collected through structured questionnaire, oral examination and anthropometric measurement. The questionnaire collected information on sex, age, family income, mother's education and children's dietary habits. The numbers of decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) was used to indicate dental caries. Weight- and height-for-age z-scores were calculated using the WHO Growth Standard. Multilevel analysis was used to assess the association between baseline socioeconomic position and each of dental caries and child's growth.

RESULTS: Mother's education was negatively associated with increments of DMFT. Family income was not significantly associated with DMFT in the fully adjusted model. The association persisted after accounting for other socioeconomic and dietary factors. Higher income was positively related to an increase in the weight-for-age z-score. The relationship between income and changes in the height-for-age z-score was positive and significant in the second highest income group.

CONCLUSIONS: Mother's education appeared to be the strongest predictor of increments of dental caries. Only income was significantly associated with an increase in children's weight and height.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4234
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Child
  • Dental caries
  • Growth
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Socioeconomic factors

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