The Impact of Race, Ethnicity, and Income on Dental Utilization




Maresh, Kyeung Oak


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Kyeung, Oak Maresh. The Impact of Race, Ethnicity, and Income on Dental Utilization Master of Public Health (Biostatics), May 2004, 29 pp., 5 tables, 43 references. Objective To determine if there is a difference in access to dental care services among the difference race/ethnic groups, to ascertain if dental care access differs according to income levels, and to look at the utilization patterns of dental care services. Methods The study data is public use data provided by the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. The data for this study consisted of the 1999 Full Year Consolidated (Medical Expenditure Panel Survey) household component and the 1999 dental visits (HC-033B). Chi-square tests were performed to determine if there was a significant association (p [less than] 0.05) between each variable and the probability of dental care visits. Multiple logistic stepwise regression was performed to identify each predictor associated with dental care service. Results This study confirmed that minority ethnic groups access fewer dental care services than do non-Hispanic Whites. It also confirmed the second hypothesis that there is a positive relationship between income levels and access to dental care services. Conclusion The result of this study furthers our understanding of race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status in relation to dental care access. They may also help to raise consciousness of dental care utilization and provide basic information to set up efficient prevention strategies increasing dental care utilization among minority racial/ethnic groups and those of low socioeconomic status.