Self-rated general and oral health in New York City adults: assessing the effect of individual and neighborhood social factors.

Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2011 Aug 11;39(4):361-71. Epub 2011 Jan 11.

Department of Health Sciences, Lehman College, City University of New York, Bronx, NY, USA.

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Objective: This study investigates the independent and joint effects of individual and neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics on self-rated general and oral health before and after controlling for selected characteristics in adults aged 18 years and older in New York City.

Methods: Data for 1168 individuals who participated in the 2004 Social Indicators Survey were linked to neighborhood data from the 2000 US Census. Log-binomial regression models fitted using generalized estimating equations were used to calculate prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). sudaan was used to accommodate the complex sampling design of the survey and the intra-neighborhood correlation of outcomes of individuals residing within the same neighborhoods.

Results: After adjusting for selected characteristics, survey participants with 12 years of education or less were almost twice more likely to rate their general health as fair/poor than counterparts with more than 12 years of education [PRs 1.86 (95%CI: 1.16, 3.00) and 1.82 (95%CI: 1.18, 2.82)]. Participants earning <$20,000 (PR: 2.29; 95%CI: 1.23, 4.29) or between $20,000 to $39,999 yearly (PR: 2.24; 95%CI: 1.11, 4.53) were more than twice as likely to rate their general health as fair/poor compared to their counterparts earning over $40,000 yearly. When compared to participants with more than 12 years of education and those reporting an annual income ≥$40,000, the probability of rating oral health as fair/poor was at least 50% greater in participants with <12 years of education (PR: 1.58; 95%CI: 1.11, 2.26) and in participants earning an annual income of <$20,000 (PR: 1.55; 95%CI: 1.10, 2.19). No association was found between neighborhood characteristics for either self-rated general or oral health.

Conclusions: Individual socioeconomic characteristics may be important for both self-rated general and oral health by affecting individuals' behaviors and access to resources.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0528.2010.00603.xDOI Listing
August 2011
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