|Title||The Role of Primary Care for the Oral Health of Rural and Urban Older Adults.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2017|
|Authors||Caldwell, JT, Lee, H, Cagney, KA|
|Journal||The Journal of Rural Health|
|Keywords||Dental Care, Health Conditions and Status, Rural Settings, urban life|
CONTEXT: Rural populations often have restricted access to dental care and poor oral health. These problems may disproportionately affect older blacks in rural areas. Little is known about how access to primary health care may improve the oral health of rural seniors.
PURPOSE: This study examines whether the relationship between having a usual source of health care and oral health varies for white and black older adults in rural and urban areas in the United States.
METHODS: We draw on cross-sectional data of adults (50 years+) from the nationally representative Health and Retirement Study (n = 15,473). Multivariate logistic regression examined the role of a usual source of health care in conditioning racial differences in complete tooth loss and a dental visit in the past 2 years. A usual source of health care is a place, not including an emergency room, where a person goes when he or she is sick or needs health advice.
FINDINGS: In rural areas, blacks had high rates of tooth loss (28%) and low rates of dental visits (34%). Having a usual source of health care was associated with higher odds of a dental visit for all adults. In rural areas, the association between a usual source of health care and tooth loss varied by race (P < .001); blacks had more tooth loss than whites even with a usual source of health care.
CONCLUSIONS: Access to primary health care was associated with improved oral health outcomes, but it did not close the gap between whites and blacks in rural areas.
|User Guide Notes|
|Alternate Journal||J Rural Health|