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Title: The relationship between conditions in early life and along the life course and oral health status in teenagers
Author: Nicolau, Belinda Farias
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2001
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Background: Several models have been proposed to explain the causes of oral diseases. It has been demonstrated using the life course approach that environmental conditions in early life have long term effects on health in adulthood. It was considered that dental disease is a good model to test the life course theory, as dental diseases are easy to identify, to diagnose and are cumulative. There are no investigations of the life course approach using oral health as an outcome. This study investigated the relationship between social environmental conditions experienced in early life and along the life course and oral health status. It was hypothesised that adolescents with better oral health live or lived in a supportive and favourable socio-economic and family environment in early life and throughout their life course. In addition, it is hypothesised that adverse socio-economic and family environment in early life and life course would alter the subject's biological and social resources favouring the occurrence of dental disease. Methods: The two-part study was carried out in Brazil. In the first phase 652 thirteen year olds were clinically examined and interviewed. Three hundred and eleven families were randomly selected for interview to collect information on the teenager's birth and early years of life. Clinical data included dental caries, periodontal status, and dental trauma. The data analysis involved multiple logistic regression. Findings: A higher prevalence of traumatic dental injury was found among boys with low school performance from reconstituted families and reporting high levels of paternal punishment. Being a low birth weight baby with two or more siblings and from single parent families increased the risk of high DMF-T. Adolescents who had worse periodontal status had high levels of plaque scores, were at lower grade at school and were from reconstituted families with high levels of paternal punishment. Conclusion: It was concluded, using the life course approach, that both social and psychosocial circumstances in early life and life course are important determinants of adolescents' oral health.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available