Dental Department, Roi-et Hospital, Roi-et Province, Thailand
Background Oral cavity cancer (OCC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide. No studies have reported on the prevalence and epidemiologic risk factors of oral premalignant lesions (OPLs) in Thailand. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of OPLs and associated factors in Roi Et Province, Thailand. Materials and Methods To investigate the prevalence of OPLs, a cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted in which 2,300 subjects over 40 years of age were recruited and screened for the prevalence of OPLs. To identify factors associated with OPLs, a matched case-control study was used in which the subjects were 102 cases with OPL and 102 matched controls without OPLs. The studies were conducted in Roi Et Province during the period 1 February, 2014, to 30 April, 2014, and the data were collected by the use of a structured interview questionnaire and by the extraction of information from medical records. Data analyses involved the use of descriptive statistics, McNemar's test, and conditional logistic regression. Results The overall prevalence of OPLs was 3.8%, and no-one was diagnosed with more than one type of OPL. The factors found to be associated with a statistically significant higher risk of an OPL were betel nut chewing, smoking, and alcohol consumption. The associations with these factors were strong, especially for betel nut chewing and smoking. Conclusions The habits of betel nut chewing, smoking, and alcohol use are confirmed as factors associated with OPLs in a population of Roi Et Province, Thailand. Campaigns to reduce these risk healthy behaviours are needed, but whether any decrease in these behaviours will prevent the eventual transformation of an OPL into an OCC remains an open question.