Trends in the prevalence of periodontitis in Taiwan from 1997 to 2013: A nationwide population-based retrospective study

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Periodontitis is one of the most prevalent oral diseases. In this study, we probed the nationwide registered database to assess the time trends of prevalence of periodontitis in Taiwan.

A retrospective study was conducted to analyze the registered database compiled by the National Health Insurance provided by the Department of Health, Taiwan, from 1997 to December 2013.

We found that the prevalence of periodontitis significantly increased from 11.5% in 1997 to 19.59% in 2013 (P for trend < .0001). The mean age ± standard deviation with periodontitis from 1997 to 2013 was 54.46 ± 14.47 and 45.51 ± 16.58 years old, respectively. The proportion of individuals with periodontitis in age group >65 years old decreased markedly. The proportion of individuals with periodontitis in age groups <25 and 26 to 35 years old demonstrated an increased pattern. Compared to the reference cohort of 1953 to 1957, the recent birth cohort of 1993 to 1997 revealed the highest relative risk (RR) of periodontitis (male: RR, 67.42, 95% confidence interval [CI], 17.04–266.76; female: RR, 65.85, 95% CI, 16.70–259.70). Both male and female groups showed the similar age-effect pattern in the cross-sectional age curve from age–period–cohort model. There was an upturn with advancing age up to 40 to 50 years old and then a downward trend in both genders. Population dwelling in suburban area (RR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.94–0.97) and rural area (RR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.95–0.99) had the lower risk of periodontitis than those who lived in urban area. The higher income group revealed the higher risk of periodontitis compared with lower income group (RR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.18–1.23).

The prevalence of periodontitis significantly increased in Taiwan over past 17 years. The mean age with periodontitis was shown in a decreased pattern. The use of a nationwide population-based database could provide sufficient sample size, generalizability, and statistical power to assess the periodontal status in Taiwan.

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