Progression of destructive periodontal diseases in three urban minority populations: Role of clinical and demographic factors

Ronald G. Craig, Julie K. Yip, Dindo Q. Mijares, Racquel Z. LeGeros, Sigmund S. Socransky, Anne D. Haffajee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background, aims: Differences in prevalence, severity and risk factors for destructive periodontal diseases have been reported for ethnic/racial groups. However, it is not certain whether this disparity is due to ethnicity/race or factors associated with ethnicity/race. Therefore, the present study addressed whether the rates of disease progression and clinical and demographic factors associated with disease progression varied among three ethnic/racial groups. Methods: The study population consisted of 53 Asian-, 69 African- and 62 Hispanic-Americans. Clinical measurements included probing depth, attachment level, gingival erythema, bleeding upon probing, suppuration and plaque. Disease progression was defined as a >2 mm loss of attachment 2 months post baseline. The demographic variables examined included occupational status, report of a private dentist, years resident in the United States and smoking history. Results: The rate of attachment loss for the entire population was 0. 04 mm or 0.24 mm/year. No significant differences were found among the three ethnic/racial groups. Variables associated with subsequent attachment loss for the entire population were age, male gender, mean whole-mouth plaque, erythema, bleeding upon probing, suppuration, attachment loss and probing depth, and belonging to the "unskilled" occupational group. No differences in risk profiles were found among the 3 ethnic/ racial groups. Using stepwise logistic regression analysis, a model was developed to relate the clinical and demographic variables examined with subsequent attachment loss. The model indicated that prior attachment loss, gingival erythema, suppuration, being a current smoker and belonging to the "unskilled" occupational group conferred high risk of >1 site of attachment loss of >2 mm. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that variables associated with ethnicity/race, such as occupational status, are largely responsible for the observed disparity in destructive periodontal disease progression in these populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1075-1083
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of clinical periodontology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Periodontitis
  • Racial disparities
  • Socioeconomic factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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