Variation in Caries Experience and Sugar Intake among Secondary School Students in Urban and Rural Uganda
Åstrøm, Anne Nordrehaug
Rwenyonyi, Charles Mugisha
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The objective was to assess the socio-demographic variation in caries experience and sugar intake among urban (Kampala) and rural (Lira) students in Uganda. In a cross-sectional survey, a total of 1146 adolescents aged between 13 and 19 years (response rate 87%) attending 10 secondary schools, 5 rural and 5 urban, completed questionnaires in respective schools. Clinical examination was conducted among 372 respondents (response rate 90%) from the main survey and dental caries was assessed. The results showed that a total of 80% of the students had DMFT >0. The corresponding rates in Kampala and Lira were 85% and 76% (P < 0.05), respectively. The mean DMFT, DT, and MT for the sample were 2.9, 2.5, and 0.5. Adjusted mean DMFT scores were 2.4 in Kampala and 3.3 in Lira (P < 0.05). The mean frequency sugar score was 2.6 and sugar consumption was higher in females and in students of highly educated parents compared to their counterparts in the opposite groups. In conclusion, higher mean DMFT scores in urban than in rural areas are often reported from developing countries but this does not seem to apply to the Ugandan areas investigated. Kampala and Lira students were equally exposed to sweets and soft drinks but the differences in sugar consumption between students of higher and lower educated parents were most marked in Lira.
- Medical and Health Sciences