Appalachia has the largest burden of oral health problems per capita in the United States. Furthermore, health disparities in oral health outcomes resulting from differences in socioeconomic status occur. The goal of the Center is to identify factors that lead to oral health disparities in children and families in Appalachia. These factors may include oral health, genes, microbes, behavior, family interactions, or community characteristics. See our Conceptual Model. Our primary study is examining these factors in a sample of 500 families followed for five years. See our Study Design. Our long term goal is to identify targets for interventions and create effective interventions to reduce oral health disparities in this population.
We plan to:
- Identify how the factors relate to oral health status and oral health-related behaviors.
- Examine how families moderate these relationships.
- Examine how children enter life course health trajectories.
Project Support and Collaborators
This Center was initially formed in 2002 with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH / NIDCR R01-DE014899). Additional support comes from the NIDCR and the MacArthur Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health. The Center represents a collaboration among people from several sites, including:
- University of Pittsburgh
- West Virginia University
- University of Michigan
- University of Iowa
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research