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Systematic analysis: High global burden of oral conditions -- 3.9 billion affected

Alexandria, Va., USA Today, the International and American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR) published a paper titled "Global Burden of Oral Conditions in 1990-2010: A Systemic Analysis." The paper, written by lead author Wagner Marcenes, Queen Mary University, London, is published in the IADR/AADR Journal of Dental Research.

The "Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010)" produced comparable estimates of the burden of 291 diseases and injuries in 1990, 2005 and 2010. This article reports on the global burden of untreated caries, severe periodontitis and severe tooth loss in 2010, and compares those figures with new estimates for 1990.

Marcenes and his team of researchers used disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) and years lived with disability (YLDs) metrics to quantify burden. Oral conditions affected 3.9 billion people, and untreated caries in permanent teeth was the most prevalent condition evaluated for the entire GBD 2010 Study (global prevalence of 35% for all ages combined). Oral conditions combined accounted for 15 million DALYs globally, implying an average health loss of 224 years per 100,000 population.

DALYs due to oral conditions increased 20.8% between 1990 and 2010, mainly due to population growth and aging. While DALYs due to severe periodontitis and untreated caries increased, those due to severe tooth loss decreased. DALYs differed by age groups and regions, but not by genders. The findings highlight the challenge in responding to the diversity of urgent oral health needs worldwide, particularly in developing communities.

"The "Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010)" published at the end of 2012 was a landmark event for The Lancet," said JDR Editor William Giannobile. "Similarly, this further analysis on the global burden of oral conditions is a landmark event for this journal."

IADR President Helen Whelton from the University of Cork, Ireland, further elaborated, "The fact that a preventable oral disease is the most prevalent of all 291 diseases and injuries examined in the GBD 2010 is quite sobering and should cause all of us to redouble our efforts to raise awareness of the importance of oral health to policymakers."


Contact: Denise Streszoff
International & American Associations for Dental Research

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