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Scoping Review of Oral Health-Related Birth Cohort Studies: Toward a Global Consortium

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  • K G Peres, Singapore General Hospital
  • ,
  • G G Nascimento
  • ,
  • A Gupta, Deakin University
  • ,
  • A Singh, University of Melbourne
  • ,
  • L Schertel Cassiano
  • A J Rugg-Gunn, The Borrow Foundation

The multidisciplinary nature and long duration of birth cohort studies allow investigation of the relationship between general and oral health and indicate the most appropriate stages in life to intervene. To date, the worldwide distribution of oral health-related birth cohort studies (OHRBCSs) has not been mapped, and a synthesis of information on methodological characteristics and outcomes is not available. We mapped published literature on OHRBCSs, describing their oral health-related data and methodological aspects. A 3-step search strategy was adopted to identify published studies using PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and OVID databases. Studies with baseline data collection during pregnancy or within the first year of life or linked future oral health data to exposures during either of these 2 life stages were included. Studies examining only mothers' oral health and specific populations were excluded. In total, 1,721 articles were suitable for initial screening of titles and abstracts, and 528 articles were included in the review, identifying 120 unique OHRBCSs from 34 countries in all continents. The review comprised literature from the mid-1940s to the 21st century. Fifty-four percent of the OHRBCSs started from 2000 onward, and 75% of the cohorts were from high-income and only 2 from low-income countries. The participation rate between the baseline and the last oral health follow-up varied between 7% and 93%. Ten cohorts that included interventions were mostly from 2000 and with fewer than 1,000 participants. Seven data-linkage cohorts focused mostly on upstream characteristics and biological aspects. The most frequent clinical assessment was dental caries, widely presented as decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT/dmft). Periodontal conditions were primarily applied as isolated outcomes or as part of a classification system. Socioeconomic classification, ethnicity, and country- or language-specific assessment tools varied across countries. Harmonizing definitions will allow combining data from different studies, adding considerable strength to data analyses; this will be facilitated by forming a global consortium.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Pages (from-to)632-646
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

    Research areas

  • cohort analysis, follow-up, prospective studies, life span, longitudinal studies, oral health outcomes

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