Nevin Manimala Statistics

Comparing the relative influence of obesity and ancestry on timing of dental development

Orthod Craniofac Res. 2023 Mar 13. doi: 10.1111/ocr.12651. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: The dentition is one of the most accurate features for age estimation in children. However, there is some evidence that timing of dental development varies across populations. Recent research suggests that dental development may also be susceptible to influence by environmental factors, such as obesity. Given that there are also population differences in average body mass, it is possible that this may be a confounding variable that was not accounted for in prior work. We aim to compare the relative association between body mass index (BMI) and ancestry with timing of dental development.

METHODS: A retrospective cross-sectional chart review was undertaken using panoramic radiographs of 6 to 12-year-olds (n=281). Age, ancestry, sex, height, and weight were obtained. Dental development was assessed using the Demirjian method, and chronological age was subtracted from estimated dental age to determine relative timing of dental development (ΔAge). BMI was calculated based upon recorded height/weight within 6 months of time of radiograph.

RESULTS: We found no difference in timing of dental development (accelerated/delayed) across ancestry groups (African-American, Euro-American, Hispanic, Asian; p=0.15). Overweight/obese subjects had statistically significantly advanced (precocious) dental development (p<0.001). Compared to normal weight subjects, children who were overweight’s age was overestimated by 5.76 months (0.48 years) and children with obesity by 5.97 months (0.49 years) on average.

CONCLUSIONS: BMI appears to have a greater impact on relative timing of dental development than ancestry in this population. Our results support other findings that obesity results in accelerated growth and development.

PMID:36912715 | DOI:10.1111/ocr.12651

By Nevin Manimala

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