Regional Epidemiologic Assessment of Prevalent Periodontitis Using an Electronic Health Record System

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Abstract

An oral health surveillance platform that queries a clinical/administrative data warehouse was applied to estimate regional prevalence of periodontitis. Cross-sectional analysis of electronic health record data collected between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2010, was undertaken in a population sample residing in Ladysmith, Wisconsin. Eligibility criteria included: 1) residence in defined zip codes, 2) age 25–64 years, and 3) ≥1 Marshfield dental clinic comprehensive examination. Prevalence was established using 2 independent methods: 1) via an algorithm that considered clinical attachment loss and probe depth and 2) via standardized Current Dental Terminology (CDT) codes related to periodontal treatment. Prevalence estimates were age-standardized to 2000 US Census estimates. Inclusion criteria were met by 2,056 persons. On the basis of the American Academy of Periodontology/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention method, the age-standardized prevalence of moderate or severe periodontitis (combined) was 407 per 1,000 males and 308 per 1,000 females (348/1,000 males and 269/1,000 females using the CDT code method). Increased prevalence and severity of periodontitis was noted with increasing age. Local prevalence of periodontitis was consistent with national estimates. The need to address potential sample selection bias in future electronic health record–based periodontitis research was identified by this approach. Methods outlined herein may be applied to refine oral health surveillance systems, inform dental epidemiologic methods, and evaluate interventional outcomes.

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