Relation between Socioeconomic Indicators and Children Dental Caries in Iran: A Systematic Review and Meta‑analysis

Mohammadreza Amiresmaili, Saeed Amini, Arash Shahravan, Reza Goudarzi, Seyed Hossein Saberi Anari, Zohre Anbari, Mahtab Ghanbarnejad


The relationship between households’ socioeconomic situation (SES) and children dental caries has been assessed in many Iranian studies to evaluate the effect of public dental care programs supporting the poor. Hence, this study through systematic review and meta‑analysis has presented a conclusion in this regard. Domestic and foreign databases were searched using keywords designed by concept map. Time limit to search the databases included articles published from 1994 to 2017. Twenty‑five articles were entered to the fnal step of the study, in which 49 relationships between SES and dental caries were assessed. Heterogeneity between studies was assessed using I2. Publication bias has been assessed using funnel plot and Egger’s test. The data were assessed by STATA 13.1. Odds ratio and mean difference of children dental caries in high SES households in comparison with low SES households were 0.41 (confdence interval [CI]: 0.30, 0.52) and -0.49 (CI: -0.85, -0.13),
respectively. The CI in both cases did not include “null or no effect line,” so there was a signifcant inverse relation between SES and dental caries. Despite the emphasis on upstream documents on equity in access to dental health services, there was high difference between SES groups in this regard. It is necessary to revise dental health programs at the country level to decrease these differences.

Keywords: Dental caries, Iran, meta‑analysis, socioeconomic factors

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