Prevalence of smokeless tobacco use and oral pre-malignant lesions among heavy load truck drivers and general male population in Mumbai, India
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Cancer Care Initiative, Tata Trusts, Mumbai, India
Cancer Screening and Early Detection, Karkinos Healthcare Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai, India
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Corresponding author
Kharodia Neha
Cancer Care Initiative, Tata Trusts, Maker Tower E Block, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A100
Oro-pharyngeal cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide. One of the highest oral cancer incidences is found in India, with India contributing approximately 30% of all new cases globally and accounting for one-third of the global burden of oral cancers. High risk groups, especially truck drivers, pose a challenge for high smokeless tobacco use and addressing the risk factors is a priority.

The aim of this study was to understand the prevalence of smokeless tobacco use and oral pre-malignant lesions among Indian heavy load truck drivers and the general Indian population.

In this study, two subsets of the data collected by the Indian Dental Association (IDA) under their ‘National Oral Health Programme’ (NOHP) initiative were analyzed. In a community based setting participants undergo a complete dental and oral examination by a dentist. Tobacco users, especially those with oral pre-malignant lesions or conditions, are informed about the pre-cancerous findings and are provided with tobacco cessation counselling along with treatment recommendations. Secondary datasets – one belonging to truck driver population and the other to general population – were obtained from the Indian Dental Association for analysis.

The prevalence of smokeless tobacco use among truck drivers (n=73) (75.3%) and in the general population (n=56) (28.3%). The prevalence of oral pre-malignant lesions in truck drivers was found to be 17.5% and 15.7% in general population. The odds ratio for presence of oral lesions and smokeless tobacco use was 2.84 (95% CI = 0.578 – 27.424, p-value = 0.22) in truck drivers, and 11.7 (95% CI = 4.475 – 32.503, p-value= 0.001) in general population.

This study did provide a good insight on the prevalence of smokeless tobacco use and oral lesions among Indian truck drivers. Screening and early detection of high risk groups and addressing smokeless tobacco use through integrated workplace intervention is needed.

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