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The association between vitamin D levels and caries experience in children and youth participating in National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011-2016: A cross-sectional study



Background:

Given equivocal findings from existing nationally representative studies, the authors sought to determine associations between vitamin D levels and caries experience in US children using updated National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data.


Methods:

The authors used data from 2011-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Vitamin D status was assessed on the basis of the sufficiency thresholds of 50 and 75 nmol/L for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) recommended by the Institute of Medicine (now National Academy of Medicine) and Endocrine Society, respectively. Caries experience was defined as the total number of decayed or filled tooth surfaces (dfs) and decayed, missing, or filled tooth surfaces (DMFS) and a binary measure of any dfs and DMFS. Associations between 25(OH)D and any or total dfs and DMFS were examined in children aged 2 through 5, 6 through 8, 9 through 11, and 12 through 18 years, using multivariable logistic and linear regression models after adjustment for covariates.


Results:

Children aged 2 through 5 years with 25(OH)D above 75 nmol/L experienced fewer total dfs (β = -1.94; 95% CI, -3.60 to -0.28) than those with 25(OH)D below 75 nmol/L. Children 6 through 8 years with 25(OH)D above 75 nmol/L had lower presence of any dfs (odds ratio, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.36 to 0.95) than those with 25(OH)D below 75 nmol/L, and those with 25(OH)D above 50 nmol/L had lower presence of any DMFS (odds ratio, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.19 to 0.79) than those with 25(OH)D below 50 nmol/L. There were no associations of 25(OH)D status with either any or total DMFS in children 12 through 18 years CONCLUSIONS: There were no consistent associations of 25(OH)D status with caries experience across age groups.


Practical implications:

Vitamin D status was not associated consistently with reduced caries experience.


Keywords:

NHANES; Pediatrics; caries; vitamin D.



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