Oral malignancies and tobacco related habits among Aranadar tribals in Kerala, India: a population based study
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Batterjee Medical College, Public Health, Saudi Arabia
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A385
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Aranadar tribals also known as Eranadar are tribal people living in the Nilambur forests of Malabar Kerala. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of oral malignancies and also to assess the practices on tobacco and alcohol related habits.

The study was conducted during the time period of 2014-2015. A cross sectional study design was done by selecting different age groups and gender. The Oral health Status were measured using WHO format and data on practices related to tobacco and alcohol practices by were collected using a pre-tested Questionnaire. Dietary patterns were recorded in a dietary chart.

We examined a total of 3685 people from all the age groups and gender. The study population consisted of 67% of total Aranadar tribals in the Nilambur forest region. The prevalence of Oral Malignancies was found to be 27% in the study population. Cancer of tongue (45.5%) and buccal mucosa (39%) was found to be more common in these population. Pre-malignant lesions like leukoplakia(18%), erythroplakia(7%) and lichen planus(3.2%) were also reported among these tribal people. 68% of the 10-15 year old male children were found using tobacco products in one or the other forms. 34.7% of the women reported the use of tobacco. The most common cancers among the youngest age group are those of tongue and buccal mucosa (51.26%). Alcohol use were reported in 57% of the study population. There was strong association with tobacco and oral cancer in tribal people and it was statistically significant (p< 0.05).

The prevalence of oral cancer was found to very high in these tribals people compared to other semi-urban and urban populations. The study reveals that awareness regarding the harmful effects of use tobacco and local arrack among these Aranadar tribals were very less.