Slade GD, Bair E, By K, Mulkey F, Baraian C, Rothwell R, Reynolds ME, Miller V, Gonzalez Y, Gordon S, Ribeiro-Dasilva M, Lim PF, Greenspan JD, Dubner R, Fillingim RB, Diatchenko L, Maixner W, Dampier D, Knott C, Ohrbach R. Study methods, recruitment, sociodemographic findings, and demographic representativeness in the OPPERA study. J Pain. 2011 Nov;12(11 Suppl):T12-26.

This paper describes methods used in the project “Orofacial Pain Prospective Evaluation and Risk Assessment” (OPPERA) and evaluates sociodemographic characteristics associated with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) in the OPPERA case-control study. Representativeness was investigated by comparing sociodemographic profiles of OPPERA participants with population census profiles of counties near study sites and by comparing age and gender associations with TMD in OPPERA and the 2007 to 2009 US National Health Interview Survey. Volunteers aged 18 to 44 years were recruited at 4 US study sites: 3,263 people without TMD were enrolled into the prospective cohort study; 1,633 of them were selected as controls for the baseline case-control study. Cases were 185 volunteers with examiner-classified TMD. Distributions of some demographic characteristics among OPPERA participants differed from census profiles, although there was less difference in socioeconomic profiles. Odds of TMD was associated with greater age in this 18 to 44 year range; females had 3 times the odds of TMD as males; and relative to non-Hispanic-Whites, other racial groups had one-fifth the odds of TMD. Age and gender associations with chronic TMD were strikingly similar to associations observed in the US population. Assessments of representativeness in this demographically diverse group of community volunteers suggest that OPPERA case-control findings have good internal validity.

Perspective: Demographic associations with TMD were consistent with population benchmarks and with other studies, suggesting broad applicability of these OPPERA findings. Greater occurrence of TMD in non-Hispanic-Whites than in other racial/ethnic groups and the lack of a socioeconomic gradient contradicts the disparities seen in many other health conditions.

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