Journal of Epidemiology
Online ISSN : 1349-9092
Print ISSN : 0917-5040
ISSN-L : 0917-5040
Original Article
Socioeconomic Inequalities in Oral Health among Middle-Aged and Elderly Japanese: NIPPON DATA2010
Keiko MurakamiTakayoshi OhkuboMieko NakamuraToshiharu NinomiyaToshiyuki OjimaKayoko ShiraiTomomi NagahataAya KadotaNagako OkudaNobuo NishiTomonori OkamuraHirotsugu UeshimaAkira OkayamaKatsuyuki Miura
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2018 Volume 28 Issue Supplement_III Pages S59-S65


Background: Most studies on socioeconomic inequalities in oral health have not considered the effects of behavioral and biological factors and age differences. Furthermore, the nationwide status of inequalities remains unclear in Japan.

Methods: We analyzed data from 2,089 residents aged ≥40 years throughout Japan. The lowest quartile of the number of remaining teeth for each 10-year age category was defined as poor oral health. Behavioral and biological factors included smoking status, obesity, diabetes mellitus, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and the use of dental devices. Multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the associations of educational attainment and equivalent household expenditure (EHE) with oral health, and stratified analyses by age category were also conducted (40–64 years and ≥65 years).

Results: Lower education and lower EHE were significantly associated with an increased risk of poor oral health after adjusting for age, sex, employment status, marital and living statuses, and EHE/education; the odds ratio for junior high school education compared with ≥college education was 1.84 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.36–2.49), and the odds ratio of the lowest compared with the highest EHE quartile was 1.91 (95% CI, 1.43–2.56). Further adjustments for behavioral and biological factors attenuated but did not eliminate these associations. EHE was significantly associated with oral health among elderly adults only, with a significant interaction by age category.

Conclusions: Those with a lower education and those with lower EHE had a significantly higher risk of poor oral health, even after adjustments for behavioral and biological factors.

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© 2018 Keiko Murakami et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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