Household food insecurity and dental caries in Korean adults

Min Hee Lee, Jeong Won Park, Yu Jin Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Food security is important to health maintenance and disease prevention. The aim of this study was to identify the association between household food insecurity and dental caries in Korean adults. Method: Data from 14 770 adults included in the 2013-2015 Korea National Health and Nutritional Survey were analysed. Household food insecurity was evaluated using the 18-item US Household Food Security/Hunger Survey Module. General characteristics differences based on household food security were compared with weighted one-way analysis of variance for continuous variables and weighted chi-squared tests for categorical variables. A modified Poisson approach was used to calculate prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). Results: The prevalence of untreated dental caries in permanent teeth was 28.9% (CI;27.6, 30.2), 36.7% (33.0, 40.5) and 48.9% (40.0, 57.8) among individuals with household food security, household food insecurity without hunger and household food insecurity with hunger, respectively. Relative to those who were food-secure, the prevalence ratios (95% CIs) for dental caries were 1.12 (0.97-1.31) and 1.35 (1.02-1.80) for those with household food insecurity without and with hunger, respectively, adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, socioeconomic status, life style, dietary and dental factors. Conclusion: We found that household food insecurity is associated with prevalence of untreated dental caries in Korean adults. Healthcare providers ought to consider the important role that food security can play in the prevention and management of oral health in adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-378
Number of pages8
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Dentistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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