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Pediatr Dent. 1992 Sep-Oct;14(5):302-5.

Effect of nursing caries on body weight in a pediatric population.

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Division of Pediatric Dentistry, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York.


A review of anesthesia and sedation records of children with nursing caries was undertaken. The weights of these 115 children with otherwise noncontributory medical histories were compared to subjects matched for age, gender, race, and socioeconomic status. Nursing caries children were treated using either sedation or general anesthesia and received treatment for at least one pulpally involved tooth. Comparison subjects had no gross carious lesions. The average age for both the comparison and test groups was 3.2 years (SD = 1.01 and 0.98, respectively). While comparison patients weighed 16.2 +/- 3.08 kg, patients with nursing caries weighed only 15.2 +/- 2.66 kg. This difference was statistically significant (P < 0.005). Of the nursing caries patients, 8.7% weighed less than 80% of their ideal weight, compared with only 1.7% of the comparison patients (P < 0.02). Of nursing caries children, 19.1% were in the 10th percentile or less for weight, compared with only 7.0% of comparison subjects (P < 0.01). The mean age of "low weight" patients with nursing caries was significantly greater than for patients at or above their ideal weights, indicating that progression of nursing caries may affect growth adversely.

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