ZIP Code and its Impact on the Oral Health Status and BMI of Pediatric Patients
thesisposted on 2021-08-01, 00:00 authored by Dhwani Patel
Objectives The aims of this study were to identify associations between food deserts and caries experience in young children (age 3-4 years) receiving dental care at UIC COD and to identify associations between food deserts and BMI in the same patient population. Methods This cross-sectional chart review utilized axiUm, the UIC COD Electronic Health Record, and the patient’s age, sex, ZIP code, dmft score, height, and weight were retrieved. Food deserts were determined using the United States Department of Agriculture Food Access Research Atlas and BMI was determined using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention BMI Percentile Calculator for Child and Teen. Results When the results were analyzed based on age, in the three-year-old population, patients that lived in a food desert were more likely to be underweight, overweight, or obese (p=0.000). Three-year-old females had significantly higher caries experience than males (p=0.008). Four-year-old patients who did not reside in a food desert had an increased dmft index score (p=0.026). Conclusions Young children living in a food desert were more likely to be underweight, overweight, or obese rather than at healthy weight. The etiology of caries is multifactorial and can be influenced by many other factors that were not examined in this study. Further work needs to be done to study this relationship.