ASPPH logo


Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

CUNY Faculty Studies Risk Indicators for Periodontitis

Dr. Luisa Borrell, professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy and colleagues examined risk indicators for periodontitis among U.S. Adults. The findings were published in the Journal of Periodontology).

Because of optimal surveillance measures and standard case definitions, it is possible to accurately determine population-average risk profiles for severe and non-severe periodontitis in adults, aged 30 years and older, in the United States.

The research team used data from the 2009 to 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They utilized the “gold standard” full-mouth periodontitis surveillance protocol to classify severity of periodontitis following suggested Centers for Disease Control/American Academy of Periodontology case definitions.  The data were analyzed by sociodemographics, behavioral factors, and comorbid conditions. Analyses were further stratified by sex for each classification of periodontitis.

Likelihood of total periodontitis increased with age for overall and non-severe periodontitis relative to non-periodontitis. Compared with non-Hispanic Whites, total periodontitis was more likely in Hispanics and non-Hispanic Blacks, whereas severe periodontitis was most likely in non-Hispanic Blacks. There was at least a 50 percent greater likelihood of total periodontitis in current smokers compared with non-smokers. In males, likelihood of total periodontitis in adults aged 65 years and older was greater than adults aged 30 to 44 years. This probability was even greater in women. Likelihood of total periodontitis was higher in current smokers relative to non-smokers regardless of sex and periodontitis classification. Total periodontitis was more likely in men with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus compared with adults without diabetes mellitus.

The authors concluded that the findings could improve identification of target populations for effective public health interventions to improve periodontal health of adults in the United States.