Commonality of Risk Factors for Mothers' Poor Oral Health and General Health: Baseline Analysis of a Population-Based Birth Cohort Study
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Objective The association between and commonality of risk factors for poor self-rated oral health (SROH) and general health (SRGH) among new mothers has not been reported. The purpose of this paper is to assess the commonality of risk factors for poor SROH and SRGH, and self-reported obesity and dental pain, among a population-based sample of new mothers in Australia. It also investigated health conditions affecting new mothers' general health. Methods Data collected at baseline of a population-based birth cohort was used. Mothers of newborns in Adelaide were approached to participate. Mothers completed a questionnaire collecting data on socioeconomic status (SES), health behaviours, dental pain, SROH, self-reported height and weight and SRGH. Analysis was conducted sequentially from bivariate to multivariable regression to estimate prevalence rate (PR) of reporting poor/fair SROH and SRGH. Results of the 1895 new mothers, some 21 and 6% rated their SROH and SRGH as poor/fair respectively. Dental pain was associated with low income and smoking status, while being obese was associated with low SES, low education and infrequent tooth brushing. SROH and SRGH was associated with low SES, smoking, and dental pain. SROH was also associated with SRGH [PR: 3.06 (2.42-3.88)]. Conclusion for practice There was a commonality of factors associated with self-rated oral health and general health. Strong associations between OH and GH were also observed. Given the importance of maternal health for future generations, there would be long-term societal benefit from addressing common risk factors for OH and GH in integrated programs.
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