270523 Methamphetamine use and oral health

Monday, October 29, 2012

Nancy Thompson, PhD, RDH , Community and Behavioral Health Department, University of Iowa, College of Public Health, Iowa City, IA
EM Boyer, PhD RDH , Retired, Santa Barbara, CA
Tracy Hill, BS BA RDH , Allied Health Department, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA
Objectives: To study the relationship between methamphetamine use and oral health. Methods: Data were collected from a systematically selected sample of 174 newly admitted prisoners in Iowa in 1998. Data on oral health were based on clinical examinations. Data on remaining variables were based on responses to oral interviews. Multivariate analysis was based on linear regression using best fit models, which were the models reflecting interaction effects. Results: The subjects had a mean of 6.9 decayed teeth (SD=5.8; median=6.0), a mean of 17.5 decayed surfaces (SD=17.4; median=14.0) and a mean of 4.2 missing teeth (SD=4.3; median=3.0). Over half of the sample (n=95, 54.6%) had used methamphetamine at some point in their life. Bivariate analysis showed that one or more of the oral health outcomes was significantly related to use of methamphetamine, sex, age, race, professional care, frequency of brushing, and sugar intake. Further, use of methamphetamine was significantly associated with use of heroin, cocaine, marijuana and tobacco, race, sex, pop consumption and professional care. When controlling for confounding variables via multiple regression, methamphetamine use remained significantly related to missing teeth( p 0.02; R square =0.400) but was no longer significantly related to decayed teeth (p 0.77; R square=0.21) or decayed surfaces (p 0.72; R square = 0.23). Conclusions: The common perception that use of methamphetamine is strongly associated with decay must be revised to reflect that the strength of the association is not significant when considered in the context of other variables known to influence decay.

Learning Areas:

Learning Objectives:
Describe the nature of the relationship between methamphetamine use and oral health controlling for confounding variables.

Keywords: Oral Health, Drug Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am one of two individuals responsible for the analysis of these data and dissemination of these findings. Having a PhD degree and being a faculty member of a college of public health I am well qualified to identify a needed area of research and to analyze and report these data credibly. Further, I am a co-author of a previous publication using the same data set. J Dent Hyg. 2002;76(2):141-50. PubMed ID 12078578
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.