Dental Hospital Admissions in the Children of Mothers with an Alcohol-Related Diagnosis: A Population-Based, Data-Linkage Study

C.M. O' Leary, Linda Slack-Smith

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8 Citations (Scopus)


To investigate the relationship between maternal alcohol-use disorder and dental hospital admissions in children up to 5 years of age.

Study design
Mothers with an International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision/10th revision alcohol-related diagnosis, a proxy for alcohol-use disorder, were identified through the Western Australian data-linkage system. Exposed mothers were frequency-matched by maternal age, Aboriginal status, and child's birth year to randomly selected comparison mothers without an alcohol diagnosis. Linkage with the Midwives Notification System (1983-2002) identified all births of these mothers; “exposed” (non-Aboriginal, n = 11 171; Aboriginal, n = 8145) and comparison cohorts (non-Aboriginal, n = 32 508; Aboriginal, n = 16 719). Dental hospital admissions were identified through linkage with Hospital Morbidity Data (1983-2007) (3.2% exposed; 3.0% comparison) and cases of fetal alcohol syndrome (n = 84) through linkage with the Western Australian Register of Developmental Anomalies. ORs and 95% CIs for having a dental admission (International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision: 520-529; International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision: K0-K14.9) were generated by the use of generalized estimating equations, which we adjusted for potential confounding factors (aOR).

Children of mothers with an alcohol-related diagnosis had increased adjusted odds of gingivitis and periodontal diseases (aOR 1.67; 95% CI 1.12-2.51) and “other” diseases of the lip and oral mucosa (aOR 1.56; 95% CI 1.21-2.01). Diseases of the salivary glands were increased only in Aboriginal children of mothers with an alcohol-related diagnosis (aOR 2.65; 95% CI 1.09-6.44). Children diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome had increased ORs of any dental admission (aOR 2.58; 95% CI 1.30-5.11).

Maternal alcohol-use disorder was associated with dental admissions related to disorders of the soft tissues, but questions remain regarding perinatal influences on dental admissions and disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-520
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number2
Early online date20 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


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