Associated factors for oral health problems in a sample of saudi cancer patients

Nagarajkumar Yenugadhati*, Alhanouf Naji Albalawi, Aisha Taha Qureshey, Eiman Taha Qureshey, Hamdan Al-Jahdali, Abdul Rahman Jazieh, Anwar E. Ahmed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: Oral health in cancer patients was known to influence the quality of life. However, the knowledge of possible factors associated with oral health in cancer patients is seriously lacking in Saudi Arabia. In this study, we aimed to determine the burden of adverse oral health in cancer patients and identify the associated factors for oral health problems. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study design was used to recruit a total of 375 cancer patients who attended oncology outpatient clinics at King Abdulaziz Medical City – Riyadh (KAMC-R) by using a consecutive sampling technique. A self-reporting questionnaire was used to collect the sociodemographic information, clinical symptoms, and lifestyle factors of cancer patients. Furthermore, depression, anxiety, and stress were assessed by using Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale. The authors assessed the oral health complaints based on seven common conditions (bleeding gums, toothache, mouth ulcers, bruxism, xerostomia, problems affecting speech, and satisfactory dietary intake). Unadjusted and adjusted risk ratios (aRR) and 95% CIs for the factors associated with the number of oral complaints experienced were computed using Poisson regression model. Results: The prevalence of oral health conditions experienced by cancer patients was 86.1% (95% CI: 82.2%–89.5%). Female sex (aRR=1.37, 95% CI: 1.05–1.78), low income (aRR=1.58, 95% CI: 1.23–2.04), smoking (aRR=1.29, 95% CI: 1.02–1.64), anxiety (aRR=1.75, 95% CI: 1.36–2.24), and stress (aRR=1.25, 95% CI: 1.00–1.55) were associated with increased risk of oral health problems in cancer patients (p≤0.05), whereas breast cancer patients experienced reduced risk (aRR=0.72, 95% CI: 0.56–0.93). Conclusion: Our study highlighted the significant burden of oral health problems in Saudi cancer patients at KAMC-R and identified several key associated factors for oral health to aid healthcare practitioners in improving cancer management practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1285-1293
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Management and Research
StatePublished - 21 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Associated factors
  • Cancer survivors
  • Oral health
  • Prevalence


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