Age-sex specific and sequela-specific disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) due to dental caries preventable through water fluoridation: An assessment at the national and subnational levels in Iran, 2016

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We assessed disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) due to dental caries preventable through water fluoridation apportioned by sex, age group, sequela, province, and community type in Iran, 2016. The burden of disease due to dental caries was extracted from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 (GBD 2016) and the caries preventive effect of water fluoridation was calculated using a database of fluoride levels in drinking water. All the preventable DALYs were caused by years lived with disability (YLDs) because of the non-fatal character of dental caries. DALYs and DALY rate (per 100,000 people) preventable through water fluoridation at the national level in 2016 were 14,971 (95% uncertainty interval 7348– 24,725) and 18.73 (9.19–30.93), respectively. The national population preventable fraction (PPF) of dental caries by water fluoridation was determined to be as high as 0.176 (0.141–0.189). The share of sequelae in the preventable DALYs at the national level were estimated to be 76.8% for edentulism and severe tooth loss, 21.4% for caries of permanent teeth, and 1.8% for caries of deciduous teeth. The national DALYs and DALY rate preventable through water fluoridation exhibited no difference by sex, but considerably increased by age from 110 (37−223) and 1.5 (0.5–3.1) for the age group 0–4 y to 4331 (2334–6579) and 88.9 (47.9–135.1) for the age group 65 y and older, respectively. Over 80% of the national preventable DALYs occurred in urban areas due to higher population and lower coverage of fluoridated drinking water. The highest provincial DALYs and DALY rate preventable by water fluoridation were observed in Tehran and Gilan to be 3776 (1866–6206) and 37.2 (18.6–60.8), respectively. The results indicated that water fluoridation can play a profound role in the promotion of dental public health and compensate the spatial inequality and increasing temporal trend of health losses from dental caries at the national level.HighlightsDALYs preventable through water fluoridation in Iran, 2016 were estimated.The preventable DALYs and DALY rate in Iran, 2016 were respectively 14,971 and 18.7.About 20% of the national dental caries DALYs were preventable by water fluoridation.The national DALYs preventable by water fluoridation considerably increased by age.Over 80% of the national preventable DALYs occurred in urban communities.

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