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Self-reported poor oral hygiene among in-school adolescents in Zambia

By Rudatsikira Emmanuel, Muula Adamson S and Siziya Seter

Abstract

<p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Dental health is a neglected aspect of adolescent health globally but more so in low-income countries. Secondary analysis using the 2004 Zambia Global School-Based Health Survey (GSHS) was conducted in which we estimated frequencies of relevant socio-demographic variables and explored associations between selected explanatory variables and self-reported poor oral hygiene (not cleaning or brushing teeth) within the last 30 days of the completion of questionnaire.</p> <p>Findings</p> <p>Most of the 2257 respondents were males (53.9%) and went hungry (82.5%). More than 4 in 10 respondents drank alcohol (42.2%) while 37.2% smoked cannabis. Overall 10.0% of the respondents reported to have poor oral hygiene. Male respondents were 7% less likely to report to have poor oral hygiene compared to females. Compared to respondents who never drank alcohol, those who drank alcohol were 27% more likely to report to have poor oral hygiene. Respondents who smoked cannabis were 4% more likely to report to have poor oral hygiene compared to those who did not smoke cannabis. Finally, respondents who went hungry were 35% more likely to report to have poor oral hygiene compared to those who did not go hungry.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Results from this study indicate that female gender, alcohol drinking, cannabis smoking, and going hungry were associated with self-reported poor oral hygiene. The identification of these factors should guide the design and implementation of programs aimed to improve oral health among adolescents.</p

Topics: Medicine (General), R5-920, Medicine, R, DOAJ:Medicine (General), DOAJ:Health Sciences, Biology (General), QH301-705.5, Science, Q, DOAJ:Biology, DOAJ:Biology and Life Sciences
Publisher: BioMed Central
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1186/1756-0500-4-255
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:2d3f1bd337a740bdae2cfc041637a3ac
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