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Authors’ Response to “Importance of Oral Health for Adolescents and Adults With Down Syndrome”

  • Kristin M. Jensen
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado
    Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado
    Adult & Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research & Delivery Science, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado
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  • Elizabeth J. Campagna
    Affiliations
    Adult & Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research & Delivery Science, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado
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  • Elizabeth Juarez-Colunga
    Affiliations
    Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado
    Adult & Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research & Delivery Science, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado
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  • Allan V. Prochazka
    Affiliations
    Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado
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  • Desmond K. Runyan
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado
    The Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado
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      We appreciate the comments of Drs. Keels, Gosnell, Casamassimo, and Shirley on our research article, “Low Rates of Preventive Healthcare Services Utilization Among Adolescents and Adults with Down Syndrome,”
      • Jensen KM
      • Campagna EJ
      • Juarez-Colunga E
      • Prochazka AV
      • Runyan DK
      Low rates of preventive healthcare service utilization among adolescents and adults with Down syndrome.
      highlighting the importance of oral health care in this population. Dr. Keels and colleagues highlight both the benefit of routine dental services overall
      • Ferreira R
      • Michel RC
      • Greghi SL
      • et al.
      Prevention and periodontal treatment in Down syndrome patients: a systematic review.
      and the particular relevance of oral health care in people with Down syndrome, owing to higher rates of congenital heart disease, acute leukemias, and autistic spectrum disorder in this population, all of which are adversely affected by periodontal disease.
      • Frank M
      • Keels MA
      • Quiñonez R
      • Roberts M
      • Divaris K
      Dental caries risk varies among subgroups of children with special health care needs.
      ,
      • Bull MJ
      Down syndrome.
      We strongly agree that regular dental care is important for people with Down syndrome throughout their lifetime. However, our evaluation of preventive healthcare patterns in adolescents and adults with Down syndrome was conducted using Medicaid claims data from 2006 to 2010 in California, Colorado, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, there was no consistent level of coverage for dental care in adults accessing Medicaid across these states during this time period, and thus this could not be included in our study. Further work on the preventive needs of people with Down syndrome should include the full range of both medical and dental care.
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      REFERENCES

        • Jensen KM
        • Campagna EJ
        • Juarez-Colunga E
        • Prochazka AV
        • Runyan DK
        Low rates of preventive healthcare service utilization among adolescents and adults with Down syndrome.
        Am J Prev Med. 2021; 60: 1-12https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2020.06.009
        • Ferreira R
        • Michel RC
        • Greghi SL
        • et al.
        Prevention and periodontal treatment in Down syndrome patients: a systematic review.
        PLoS One. 2016; 11e0158339https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0158339
        • Frank M
        • Keels MA
        • Quiñonez R
        • Roberts M
        • Divaris K
        Dental caries risk varies among subgroups of children with special health care needs.
        Pediatr Dent. 2019; 41 (https://aapd.publisher.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/aapd/pd/2019/00000041/00000005/art00008. Accessed June 11, 2021): 378-384
        • Bull MJ
        Down syndrome.
        N Engl J Med. 2020; 382: 2344-2352https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMra1706537

      Linked Article

      • Importance of Oral Health for Adolescents and Adults With Down Syndrome
        American Journal of Preventive MedicineVol. 61Issue 4
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          We congratulate the authors of the article entitled, “Low Rates of Preventive Healthcare Service Utilization Among Adolescents and Adults with Down Syndrome,” highlighting the specific lifelong preventive healthcare needs required by individuals with Down syndrome.1 We would like to stress the importance of oral health care among this population. The increased risk of periodontal disease experienced by individuals with Down syndrome as they age owing to an impaired immune system is well documented.
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