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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 104, Issue 7, pp e466–e471 | Cite as

Comparing Inequalities in Oral and General Health: Findings of the Canadian Health Measures Survey

  • Vahid RavaghiEmail author
  • Carlos Quiñonez
  • Paul J. Allison
Quantitative Research
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

Objectives

The aim of this study was to measure and compare the magnitude of income-related inequalities for oral and general health outcomes in Canada.

Methods

Data for this study were from the 2007/09 Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS). The sample size consisted of 3,413 Canadians aged 18–79 (1,601 men and 1,812 women). Oral health indicators were the total number of decayed and missing teeth. General health was measured as obesity and high blood pressure. Socio-economic status was measured as equivalized household income. We used the concentration index (CI) to quantify income-related inequalities in these outcomes. Values for the concentration index range from -1 to +1 with negative (or positive) concentration indices showing that the outcome is more concentrated among the less well off (or among the better off). All statistical analyses were weight-adjusted for the complex survey design and standardized for age.

Results

The concentration indices for oral health outcomes (decayed teeth = −0.25, missing teeth = −0.15) were greater than for general health outcomes (obesity = −0.05, high blood pressure = −0.04). The concentration indices for oral health outcomes, in contrast to general health outcomes, were statistically significant.

Conclusion

There were income-related inequalities for oral health outcomes with the disease concentrated more among the poor. Inequalities in oral health were greater than inequalities in general health. The variation in the funding of oral health care and general health care is likely to explain the differences in the magnitude of income-related inequalities for oral and general health.

Key words

Socioeconomic factors oral health income obesity blood pressure 

Résumé

Objectifs

Mesurer et comparer l’ampleur des inégalités liées au revenu pour ce qui est des résultats de santé buccodentaire et de santé générale au Canada.

Méthode

Les données de l’étude proviennent de l’Enquête canadienne sur les mesures de la santé (ECMS) de 2007–2009. L’échantillon englobait 3 413 Canadiens de 18 à 79 ans (1 601 hommes et 1 812 femmes). Les indicateurs de la santé buccodentaire étaient le nombre total de dents cariées et manquantes. La santé générale a été mesurée selon l’obésité et l’hypertension artérielle. Le statut socioéconomique a été mesuré selon le revenu équivalent des ménages. Nous avons utilisé l’indice de concentration (IC) pour chiffrer les inégalités liées au revenu dans les résultats obtenus. La valeur de l’indice de concentration variait de −1 à +1, les indices négatifs (ou positifs) montrant que le résultat était plus concentré dans les populations plus démunies (ou plus aisées). Les analyses statistiques ont été pondérées en fonction de la complexité de l’enquête et standardisées selon l’âge.

Résultats

Les indices de concentration des résultats de santé buccodentaire (dents cariées = −0,25, dents manquantes = −0,15) étaient supérieurs à ceux des résultats de santé générale (obésité = −0,05, hypertension artérielle = −0,04). Les indices de concentration des résultats de santé buccodentaire, contrairement aux résultats de santé générale, étaient statistiquement significatifs.

Conclusion

Il y avait des inégalités liées au revenu pour les résultats de santé buccodentaire, la maladie étant davantage concentrée chez les pauvres. Les inégalités de santé buccodentaire étaient plus prononcées que les inégalités de santé générale. L’écart entre le financement des soins de santé buccodentaires et les soins de santé généraux explique probablement les différences dans l’ampleur des inégalités liées au revenu pour ce qui est de la santé buccodentaire et de la santé générale.

Mots clés

facteurs socioéconomiques santé buccodentaire revenu obésité pression artérielle 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vahid Ravaghi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carlos Quiñonez
    • 2
  • Paul J. Allison
    • 3
  1. 1.Oral Health & Society Research Unit, Faculty of DentistryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Dental Public Health, Faculty of DentistryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of DentistryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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