142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Precancerous Oral Conditions in Nevada Adolescents Associated with Tobacco and Marijuana Use

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 : 8:30 AM - 8:50 AM

Marcia M. Ditmyer, PhD, MCHES , School of Dental Medicine, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
Christina Demopoulos, DDS, MPH , Clinical Sciences, UNLV School of Dental Medicine, Las Vegas, NV
Connie Mobley, PhD, RD , School of Dental Medicine, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine significant associations between cigarettes/marijuana use and precancerous oral conditions (oral lesions and enlarged lymph nodes) in Nevada adolescents.  

Methods: This cross-sectional observational study was conducted by trained/calibrated/licensed oral health professionals who conducted oral health screenings with adolescents (n=31,306, 13-19 yrs. old) from 2006/2010 as part of an annual, statewide, Nevada, school-based, dental screening initiative following approval of The Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act.   Demographics, exposure to second-hand smoke, and use of marijuana were self-reported in interviews.

Results: Of the subjects screened, 826 presented with oral lesions (~2.6%); 958 presented with enlarged lymph nodes (~3%); and 4% (n=71) with both. Of those who reported using tobacco/marijuana, almost 500 (59.2%) presented with oral lesions, 407 (42.5%) with enlarged lymph nodes, and 56 (80%) with both. Over 90% (869) of those who reported being exposed to second-hand smoke presented with lesions or enlarged lymph nodes.

Discussion: Although oral cancer in adolescents is extremely rare, the death rate in the US due to oral cancer is higher than that of cervical cancer; Hodgkin’s disease; cancer of the brain, liver, testes, kidney and ovarian cancer. These data indicated prevalence of tobacco use was slightly higher than the national average (19.5% vs. 18.5%); however, there were significantly higher rates of marijuana use (12.0% vs. 3.3%), suggesting these behaviors are associated with the increasing trends in precancerous and cancerous oral conditions in this cohort.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the history of the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act and its affect on precancerous oral conditions in Nevada youth. Compare associations between oral lesions and enlarged lymph nodes and use of cigarettes/marijuana. Compare associations between oral lesions and enlarged lymph nodes and reported second- hand smoke exposure. Discuss potential interventions to change the environment regarding adolescent cigarette and marijuana use.

Keyword(s): Cancer, Oral Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: conducted and presented research in this area prior. Have published and presented at several conferences.
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.