Systemic health status and self-reported periodontal health among South Africans.

T. E. Okagbare*, O. A. Ayo-Yusuf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study sought to determine the association between systemic health and self-reported poor periodontal health in South Africa. This secondary data analysis focused on dentate adults aged >15 years (n=6,319) who participated in the South African Demographic and Health Survey (SADHS) during 2003/2004.Information obtained included socio-demographic data, and data on health risk behaviours (tobacco and alcohol use) and chronic diseases. The main outcome measure is self-reported poor periodontal health (defined as having had pain or problems with the gums in the 6 months prior to the survey date). Data analysis included t-test, chi-square and multiple logistic regression analysis. Of the respondents, 4.6% (95% CI = 3.9-5.5) self-reported having had a 'gum problem' or poor periodontal health. Those who reported poor periodontal health were significantly older than those who did not report poor periodontal health (36.2 yrs vs. 38.8 yrs; p = 0.02). In a multi-variable adjusted model, those categorized as problem drinkers (2.53; 95% CI = 1.68 - 3.82) as compared to non-drinkers, those who had suffered a stroke (4.13; 95% CI = 1.53- 11.11), or who suffered from arthritis (1.70; 95% CI = 1.00-2.90) all demonstrated significantly higher odds of reporting poor periodontal health. When compared to white South Africans, black South Africans had the highest odds of reporting poor periodontal health (3.91; 95% CI =1.38 -11.05). There is a significant association between chronic systemic conditions such as having had a stroke or suffering from arthritis and poor periodontal health in South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-263
Number of pages5
JournalWest African Journal of Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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