Prevalence and associated factors for temporomandibular disorders in Chinese civilian pilots

Qing Yu, Yang Liu, Xi Chen, Duanjing Chen, Lu Xie, Xiao Hong, Xingyuan Wang, Haili Huang, Haiyang Yu
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 2015, 88 (7): 905-11

PURPOSE: Piloting is a special profession with prolonged stress, which could induce the occurrence of TMD. This sample is useful to reduce the effect of confounders in the analyses. Based on this, the present study aims to determine the prevalence and associated factors for TMD in civilian pilots of China.

METHODS: A cross-sectional epidemiological survey was carried out in 616 male subjects (aged 23-52 years). The questionnaire included general information, chewing preference (bilateral or unilateral), and Trait Anxiety section of Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-T). The clinical examination contained TMD screening per research diagnostic criteria for TMD and diagnosis of sleep bruxism per American Academy of Sleep Medicine standards. The level of statistical significance was set at P ≤ 0.05.

RESULTS: The program was conducted from June 2012 to April 2013, in which period, and the percentage of TMD in the samples we examined was 33.3 % (=205/616). Only high anxiety (OR 2.48; 95 % CI 1.25-4.90) and unilateral chewing preference (OR 12.67; 95 % CI 7.77-20.65) were the most significant associated factors with TMD. Also, salivary cortisol and the STAI-T score had a significant correlation (r = 0.47, P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: It was more reliable to study the associated factors on TMD with the exclusion of the possible confounding factors, and only unilateral chewing preference and psychological stress had a significant association with TMD. In addition, the salivary cortisol levels might assist to assess psychological stress in epidemiological research.

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