Online Program

Association between length of time in the US and dental health among foreign-born and US-born Latino youth and young adults

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.

Sean Cleary, PhD, MPH, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, George Washington University School of Public Health & Health Services, Washington, DC
Ann Goldman, MA, MPH, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Background: Significant differences in dental health care among youth have been reported across racial/ethnic groups. Few studies have examined the impact of acculturation on oral health among US born and foreign-born Latinos. Purpose: To examine the association between length of time in the US and dental health in a nationally representative sample of Latino youth and young adults. Methods: Data are from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health. Eligible respondents (n=8,006) included both US-born and foreign-born Latino youth aged 5 to 17 years. To represent acculturation, respondents were classified by length of time in the US (1-4 years, 5-10 years, 11+ years). Multiple logistic regression was used to assess the association between length of residence and oral health measures. All analyses included design effects and weights using Stata. Results: Foreign-born Latino children had poorer teeth condition, more oral health problems, and were less likely to have a routine preventive dental care visits. The acculturation hypothesis was supported for no routine preventive dental visits in the past year and for fair/poor teeth condition among the newest immigrant youth, but was not found to hold for any other measure of oral health. Conclusions: The acculturation hypothesis of diminishing dental health differences between native-born Latinos and foreign-born Latinos with more years spent in the United States was partially supported by this study. Further study is needed to elucidate individual and structural variables associated with need, access, and barriers to oral health care to ensure dental health among Latino youth and young adults.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the impact of acculturation on indicators of oral health among foreign-born compared with US-born Latino youth and young adults.

Keyword(s): Oral Health, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Co-Director of the Avance Center for the Advancement of Immigrant/Refugee Health and PI of the Adelante Intervention funded by NIMHD at the School of Public Health & Health Services, George Washington University. Co-PI and co-Investigator for projects focused on health disparities in the Latino community including SAFER and VOCES funded by CDC. Research interests include addressing the need for health care in underserved immigrant communities in the DC metro area.
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.