Early Childhood Caries Prevalence & Associated Factors In A Low Income Urban Community Of Karachi


  • Faraz Siddiqui Department of Health Sciences, University of York, United kingdom
  • Farzeen Tanwir Department of Periodontology ,Bahria University Health Sciences Campus
  • Syeda Natasha Zaidi Department of Periodontology ,Bahria University Health Sciences Campus
  • Nabeel Hafeez Department of Oral Biology, PNS Shifa Hospital,
  • Rizwan Ullah Department of Oral Biology, Sindh Institute of Oral Health Sciences
  • Tauqeer Bibi Department of Periodontology ,Bahria University Health Sciences Campus




Early childhood caries, Anemia, prevalence, oral health


Objectives: The primary and secondary objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of Early Childhood Caries among 2-6 year old children living in a low income, urban community of Karachi and to describe oral health and hygiene in the study population showing association be- tween Early Childhood Caries and anemia in 2-6 year old children, which was also the aim of our study.

Methods: A cross-sectional, community-based survey was conducted on a total of 409 children in Sultanabad between 2 and 6 years of age, Karachi. A preformed, structured questionnaire collected information on child related, parental, and household characteristics. Included participants were one child, either male or female, aged between 2 years and 6 years at the time of the survey and the fam- ily was a permanent resident of Sultanabad, who had been living in the same vicinity for at least the last 6 months. Exclusion criteria were children with dento-facial or skeletal deformities such as cleft lip/palate or any congenital dysplasia. Statistical procedures and analyses including descriptive analy- sis, uni-variate and multivariable modeling were all performed on STATA version 12.

Results: A total of 409 households from 6 blocks were surveyed from the community. The overall prevalence of Early Childhood Caries was 52.5% (95% CI: 47.7%-57.3%), which included 29.3% (25.0%-33.6%) mild/moderate Early Childhood Caries and 23.2% (19.2%-27.2%) severe Early Child- hood Caries. Frequency was higher in older age groups and in male children. The zero-inflated nega- tive binomial regression model identified the child’s anaemic status to be associated with DMFT scores; we found significant association between mean DMFT scores and the presence of severe anaemia in children.

Conclusion: The study concluded that high burden of Early Childhood Caries in the community, most of which comprises decayed, untreated teeth. The findings add to the current evidence showing asso- ciation between Early Childhood Caries and anaemia in 2-6 year old children.