An assessment of oral health status, tobacco use and cancer awareness among tea plantation workers (Irula tribes), Nilgiri Hills, Tamilnadu, India
 
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Dr MGR Medical University, Public Health, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A372
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ABSTRACT
Background:
Tea is an important agro-industry of India, which contributes immensely to the countries economy. Tea garden population constitutes approximately 1/12th of tea growing state´s population. Poor socio-economic conditions, ignorance due to illiteracy, over-crowded and unhygienic living conditions in the residential colonies make tea garden population vulnerable to various communicable diseases and malnutrition. Hence this study was contemplated with an aim to assess the oral health status, tobacco use and cancer awareness among tea plantation workers, Nilgiri Hills, Tamil Nadu, India.

Methods:
A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted to assess the tobacco use and cancer awareness among tea plantation workers, Nilgiri Hills.Data was collected using a pretested Questionnaire, which included Demographic data, tobacco habits, its frequency and form. The data collected was analysed using SPSS version15.

Results:
Results showed that among 900 study population, showed 57% had no formal education, 34.5% had not visited dentist before. 64.5% had indigenous brushing habits. 52% of oral mucosal lesions and 6% malignant oral tumors were observed. A very high prevalence of periodontal disease, tobacco chewing, deep rooted beliefs and customs regarding dentition and dental treatment was observed in this community. Prevalence of oral mucosal lesions in the study population was due to tobacco usage and lack of awareness regarding the deleterious effects of the products used.

Conclusions:
The dangers from smoking and chewing tobacco are well documented within the literature but the public's lack of knowledge of the risks is a concern. Health professionals are encouraged to ensure that the public is made aware of these risks, especially those within high-risk groups.

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