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Where do higher periodontitis rates prevail?

CDC identifies top 10 states in study

February 24, 2016 The estimated prevalence of periodontitis among U.S. adults is highest in southeastern and southwestern states, according to a study published online in February by the Journal of Dental Research.

New Mexico, Hawaii, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Nevada, California, South Carolina and Arizona are the top 10 states CDC researchers found with highest estimated periodontitis prevalence among adults ages 30-79. The estimated prevalence for those states ranged from 52.8 percent in New Mexico to 47.7 percent in Arizona.

The study, “Predicting Periodontitis at State and Local Levels in the United States,” involved researchers estimating the prevalence of periodontitis across the U.S. using a novel, small-area estimation method.

“This is the first study to model the distribution of adult periodontitis in states and local areas in the United States,” said Dr. Paul Eke, CDC epidemiologist and lead author of the study, in a press release. “…The prevention and treatment of periodontitis represents an opportunity for dental and medical professionals to work together to improve the public’s health.”

Researchers call the study a “first-ever estimation of periodontitis prevalence at state and local levels in the United States.”

“This information can be used to inform oral health policy decision and for developing intervention strategies at the state and local levels. In addition, our findings suggest potential areas of collaboration between adult oral health and other chronic disease prevention programs at geographical levels,” the authors wrote.

ADA Science Institute staff wrote about this study for Science in the News, a regularly updated online feature that summarizes the science behind recent articles in the popular press. The summary of the periodontitis article can be read at ADA.org under the “Science/Research” tab by clicking on “Science in the News.”

ADA members can access previously printed issues of Journal of Dental Research available in electronic format by logging in through the ADA library resource website, ADA.org/library, and then clicking on “Library Resources and Services.” However, this article was not available for members to view in full at press time because it was published online ahead of print.