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01.12.2010 | Review Article | Ausgabe 4/2010

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 4/2010

Oral leukoplakia in China: a review

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery > Ausgabe 4/2010
Xiaolin Zhang, Chengjie Li, Yi Song, Peter A. Reichart



Most prevalence studies on oral leukoplakia (OL) in China have been published in the Chinese language. The present review on the literature in Chinese aimed at making the data available to colleagues who are not familiar with the Chinese language.


The overall rate and 95% confidence interval of OL were calculated using Excel 2003.


Overall prevalence of OL was 9.18% (95%CI = 9.06-9.30%). Gender ratio of prevalence was 8.03:1 (males/females). Prevalence was high in age groups over 40 years with the highest in the group aged 60-69 years (21.04%, 95%CI = 19.95-22.13%). The buccal mucosa was most commonly affected (47.08%, 95%CI = 46.52-47.64%), followed by lip (39.09%), palate (9.85%), gingiva (1.80%), and tongue (1.46%). The prevalence in smokers was 23.43% and in non-smokers 1.93%. Among three variants of smoking, the traditional Hanyan pipe smoking carried the highest risk for the development of OL followed by cigarette and Shuiyan water pipe smoking. The rate of alcohol drinkers with OL was 54.50% and 22.21% in individuals without OL. No case of oral cancer was found in six surveys.


The present data on the prevalence of OL in China are comparable to those in other parts of the world. Some traditional smoking habits, however, are particular to certain regions of China.

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