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19.05.2017 | Ausgabe 1/2018

International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 1/2018

Low Income as a Multiplicative Risk Factor for Oral Pain and Dental Problems Among U.S. Veteran Smokers

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Behavioral Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2018
Autoren:
Terrell A. Hicks, Sarah M. Wilson, Shaun P. Thomas, Paul A. Dennis, Julia M. Neal, Patrick S. Calhoun

Abstract

Purpose

Compared to the United States (U.S.) general population, military veterans are at an increased risk of experiencing dental problems. This study documented associations between cigarette use and measures of dental/oral concern in a population of U.S. veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Method

A cross-sectional analysis of survey data from the Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans Health and Needs Study, a study of U.S. military veterans. Out of 5000 surveys mailed to a random sample of OEF/OIF veterans, 1161 surveys were completed and returned. Among study respondents, N = 1114 had non-missing dental/oral pain data and were included for analysis. The survey also included smoking history and demographic information. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to cross-sectionally model the odds of experiencing dental/oral concerns as a function of smoking status. We also examined moderating effects of income and gender on the association between smoking and dental/oral concerns.

Results

In univariate and multivariate models, current smoking was associated with risk for dental/oral concerns. However, this association was qualified by a Smoking × Income interaction. For those earning above US$20,000, smoking was not associated with dental/oral concerns. Among veterans with low income, smoking was associated with three times higher odds of increased dental/oral concerns. There was no significant Gender × Smoking interaction.

Conclusion

These findings underscore the relevance of factors that moderate the association between smoking and dental/oral concern, namely income. Findings also underscore the importance of interventions to mitigate income disparities in oral healthcare.

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