Self-perceived oral health among three subgroups of Asian-Americans in New York City: A preliminary study

Gustavo D. Cruz, Diana L. Galvis, Mimi Kim, Racquel Z. Le-Geros, Su Yan L. Barrow, Mary Tavares, Rima Bachiman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The aim of this preliminary study was to compare the perception of oral health among subgroups of Asian-American residents of New York City, USA. Methods: A close-ended questionnaire was administered to 255 Chinese, 134 Indian and 84 Pakistani adults, aged 18-65 years, during 1994-95. A comprehensive dental and oral examination was also performed. The associations of demographic and oral health variables with perceived oral health were evaluated using multivariate ordinal regression models. Results: When data were analyzed in a multivariate context, only ethnicity and income were significant predictors of perceived oral health, after adjusting for DMFT. The within-group multivariate analysis of the three ethnic subgroups' results were as follows: Among the Chinese there were no significant predictors, only income was strongly suggestive; among the Indians, number of missing teeth and number of years in the USA were significant predictors; and within the Pakistani group, DMFT was the only significant predictor. Conclusions: Results suggest that there are ethnic differences in the perception of oral health status even after adjusting for clinical variables as well as for demographic variables in this particular group of Asian-American residents of New York City. Predictors associated with the perception of oral health are different for each ethnic group. When designing oral health promotion activities to diverse ethnic groups, the cultural characteristics of each subgroup should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-106
Number of pages8
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Asian-Americans
  • Ethnicity
  • Minorities
  • Oral health
  • Self-perceived oral health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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