A recent study has highlighted a significant gender disparity in the provision of tobacco cessation advice by dental care providers. The research, which utilized data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2017-March 2020, found that women were twice as likely as men to report not having a conversation about the benefits of giving up tobacco products with their oral health care provider.
HCN Medical Memo
This study reinforces the need for oral health care providers to ensure equitable provision of primary and secondary prevention information and intervention programs about the benefits of giving up cigarettes or other types of tobacco products. The findings indicate a potential paradigm shift in how healthcare professionals approach patient care, particularly in relation to gender disparities. It is crucial for healthcare professionals to be aware of this disparity and strive to provide equal care to all patients, regardless of gender.
- The study was cross-sectional in nature.
- Data was sourced from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2017-March 2020.
- Participants were 18 years and older who reported that they “now smoke cigarettes,” had a dental visit within the previous year, self-reported their sex, and responded whether their oral health care provider had a direct conversation about the benefits of giving up cigarettes or other types of tobacco products to improve dental health at their last visit (n = 582).
- Multivariable logistic regression analysis was conducted to compare data according to sex.
According to the World Health Organization, tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to secondhand smoke.
- Overall, 50.7% of patients reported having a conversation about tobacco cessation at their dental visit.
- Of these, 59.2% were men and 42.9% were women (P = .0037).
- The odds of women reporting having no such discussion were twice those of men (odds ratio, 2.17; 95% CI, 1.10 to 4.28; P = .0270).
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