Dental caries and anthropometrics of children living in an informal floating Amazonian community: A cross-sectional pilot study

Ana Lucia Seminario, Elizabeth Alpert, Eduardo Bernabé, Jennifer Liu, Leann Andrews, Jorge A. Alarcón, Mauro Milko Echevarría Chong, Joseph Zunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Aims: Increasing evidence supports a relationship between poor oral health and growth in children. Our objective was to assess the association between the presence of dental caries and anthropometric measurements of children residing in Claverito, a floating slum community in the Peruvian Amazon. Methods: For this cross-sectional study, presence of caries was assessed using dmft/DMFT (decayed, missing, filled teeth) scores and the SiC Index (mean dmft/DMFT of one-third of the study group with the highest caries score). Anthropometric categories for age-sex-specific z-scores for height and weight were calculated based on WHO standardized procedures and definitions. The association between SiC (measured by dmft/DMFT) and anthropometric measures was estimated using unadjusted and adjusted multivariable linear regression models. Critical value was established at 5%. Results: Our study population consisted of 67 children between the ages of 1 and 18 years old. Mean age was 9.5 years old (SD: 4.5), and the majority were female (52.2%). Almost all had dental caries (97.0%) and the mean dmft/DMFT score was 7.2 (SD: 4.7). The SiC Index of this population was 9.0. After adjusting for confounding variables, participants who had permanent dentition with the highest dmft/DMFT levels had statistically significant decreased height-for-age z-scores (HAZ) (p=0.04). Conclusions: We found an inverse linear association between SiC Index and height-for-age z-scores (HAZ) among children living in poverty in a floating Amazonian community in Peru. Children from under-resourced communities, like floating slums, are at high risk for oral disease possibly negatively impacting their growth and development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalBrazilian Dental Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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