Comparison of Systemic Health Conditions between African American and Caucasian Complete Denture Patients

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To compare prevalence of systemic health conditions (SHC) between African American and Caucasian edentulous patients presenting for complete dentures (CD) at an urban dental school.


The study included patients presenting for CD 1/1-12/31/2010, ages 20 to 64 years, and either African American or Caucasian. Covariates included: age group, gender, employment status, Medicaid status, smoking history, and alcohol consumption. SHC included at least one of the following: arthritis, asthma, cancer, diabetes, emphysema, heart attack, heart murmur, heart surgery, hypertension, or stroke.


The group (n = 88) was 44.3% African American, 65.9% ≥50, 45.5% male, 22.7% employed, and 67.0% with at least one SHC. African Americans were older (p = 0.001) and more likely to have one or more SHC (p = 0.011). Patients with at least one SHC were older (p = 0.018) and more likely female (p = 0.012). The total sample logistic regression model assessing SHC yielded only gender as statistically significant (males < OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.92). Caucasian males were less likely to have SHC (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.77), and Caucasians ≥50 were more likely (OR 5.36, 95% CI 1.19 to 24.08). African Americans yielded no significant associations.


Among selected completely edentulous denture patients at an urban dental school, two out of three patients had at least one SHC. This exploratory study suggests there may be health status differences between African American and Caucasian patients in this setting, calling for further study.

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