RESEARCH PAPER
Smokeless tobacco and oral cancer in the Middle East and North Africa: A systematic review and meta-analysis
 
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1
Faculty of Dentistry, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia
2
School of Dentistry and Oral Health, Griffith University, Southport, Australia
3
Menzies Health Institute Queensland (MHIQ), Southport, Australia
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Mir Faeq Ali Quadri   

College of Dentistry, Jazan University, PO Box-114, Jazan 4514, Saudi Arabia
Publish date: 2019-07-18
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2019;17(July):56
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
Cancer of the oral cavity is regarded lethal with a fairly low mean 5-year survival rate. The current systematic review and meta-analysis is the first of its kind to examine, if the evidence from the Middle East and North African region indicates an association between oral cancer and tobacco; and evaluates the quality of the evidence that portrays this relationship.

Methods:
A search for articles was carried out in October 2017 and then crosschecked at the end of June 2018 using Medline, Web of Science, CINAHL, and Cochrane databases. Retrieved articles were later subjected to eligibility criteria. The search was not limited to any particular research design adopted by the investigators. However, dissertations, theses and opinion-based reviews generated from the search were excluded during the screening of titles and abstracts. Quality of included studies was determined objectively (Newcastle Ottawa Scale) and subjectively. Revman (Version 5.3) was used for conducting the meta-analysis.

Results:
Six studies satisfied the selection criteria of the current review. The New Castle Ottawa evaluation scale suggested that the three cross-sectional studies and the three case-control studies included in the current review were of relatively low to moderate quality. All included studies explored the association of only one form of smokeless tobacco, i.e. shammah. Three case-control studies revealed a pooled estimate odds ratio of 38.74 (95% CI: 19.50–76.96), indicating that the odds for the occurrence of oral cancer among shammah users were nearly 39 times higher compared to the non-users.

Conclusions:
Shammah is a potential risk factor for oral cancer; thus, it is necessary that public health practitioners design and implement effective strategies to prevent the abuse of shammah.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors thank Griffith University and Jazan University for providing access to the relevant databases. We thank the research committee at Jazan University for their support.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
The authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none was reported.
FUNDING
There was no source of funding for this research.
AUTHORS' CONTRIBUTIONS
M.F.A.Q. had initiated the idea and also designed the current study. S.K.T. and M.F.A.Q. simultaneously performed independent searches and also conducted the subjective as well as the objective quality assessment of the retrieved articles. T.J. screened the titles and abstracts of the retrieved articles to identify the relevance of the reports to the objective of this review using the eligibility criteria. All three authors contributed in the final synthesis and writing of the manuscript. S.K.T. performed the meta-analysis for this study.
PROVENANCE AND PEER REVIEW
Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
 
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