Prevalence of Oral Lesions and Nicotine Dependency among Tobacco Users in an Urban Community of Vellore, South India
Dr. JS Jesija,
Associate Surgeon, Department of Dental and Oral Surgery, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: Tobacco consumption is one of the most leading causes of preventable deaths around the world. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), eight million deaths occur annually due to tobacco usage.
Aim: To identify the prevalence of oral lesions among people who use tobacco, their knowledge on health hazards of tobacco use and the dependence on nicotine among adults in the age group between 18 to 60 years.
Materials and Methods: A community-based, cross-sectional study was conducted in Department of Community Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India, among an urban community of Vellore, between January 2019 to June 2019. This study included 930 participants. An interviewer administrated questionnaire was used to assess the prevalence of tobacco and dependence on nicotine among adults. The participants who use tobacco were examined for oral lesions. Univariate analysis was performed to highlight the variables and logistic regression model was used to find the adjusted odds ratios and p-values . A p-value<0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: The total number of adults who participated in this study was 930. The median age group among the study population was 38 years and the mean age was 38.26±12 years. About two-third (62.2%) of the participants were females. The proportion of adults currently using tobacco in any form was 24.19% (n=225), with those using Smoking Tobacco (ST) was 59.1% (n=133), Smokeless Tobacco (SLT) was 38.6% (n=87) and using both ST and SLT were 2.2% (n=5). The prevalence of oral mucosal lesions was found to be 60.1% with smoker’s palate (N=96) being the most frequently occurring oral mucosal lesion. The nicotine dependence was found to be significant in the subjects with age more than 45 years and had used tobacco for more than 20 years. On the analysis of the knowledge on health hazards, it was identified that 76.3% of the participants were aware that use of tobacco in any form can cause oral lesions.
Conclusion: This study highlights that oral lesions and nicotine dependence are highly prevalent among the tobacco users. This emphasises the need for community based oral health awareness programs highlighting the consequences of tobacco usage in order to prevent the incidence of oral cancers.