Association Between Early Childhood Caries And Malnutrition In A Sub-Urban Population In Nigeria
To determine the association between malnutrition and early childhood caries (ECC) in children resident in sub-urban, Nigeria. Methods: This study is a secondary analysis of a larger crosssectional data generated through a household survey. Variables (sex, frequency of sugar consumption, maternal knowledge of oral hygiene, oral hygiene status) associated with ECC in the primary study conducted in the Ile-Ife, Nigeria, were adjusted for in the models. We used Poisson regression analysis to
... n analysis to determine the association between ECC and malnutrition (stunting, overweight and underweight). We reported the adjusted prevalence ratio (APR). Results: Of the 370 children, 20 (5.41%) were underweight, 20 (5.41%) were overweight, 67 (18.11%) were wasting, 120 (32.43%) were stunted and 18 (4.86%) had ECC. Factors associated with ECC were being stunted, underweight, overweight and fair oral hygiene. The prevalence of ECC was lower in children who were stunted (APR: 0.14; 95% CI: 0.03-0.69; p=0.02), almost seven times higher in children who were overweight (APR: 6.88; 95% CI: 1.83-25.85; p<0.001), and predictively absent in children who were underweight (APR: 0; 95% CI: 0-0; p<0.001) when compared with children who had normal weight. Non-significant risk indicators for ECC included consuming sugar between meals three times a day or more, having low socioeconomic status and being female. Conclusions: For this study population, the indicators of malnutrition -being stunted, underweight, overweight -and fair oral hygiene were risk indicators for ECC, while the frequency of sugar consumption was not a significant risk indicator. Further studies are needed to identify if there are other mediators of associations between ECC and nutrition status apart from sugar consumption.