Prevalence, knowledge, and attitude of gutkha chewing among school children of Arsikere, India
Rashmi Metgud1, CJ Murugesh1, BN Shiva Kumar2, NK Priya3, P Rashmi4, Smitha Naik1, Aniruddh Tak1
1 Department of Oral Pathology, Pacific Dental College and Hospital, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
2 Maithri College of Dentistry and Research Centre, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
3 Department of Oral Pathology, College of Dental Sciences, Davangere, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Oral Pathology, Manubhai Patel Dental College, Vadodara, Gujarat, India
Dr. Rashmi Metgud
Department of Oral Pathology, Pacific Dental College and Hospital, Airport Road, Debari, Udaipur - 313 024, Rajasthan
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Aims: To assess the prevalence, knowledge, and attitude of gutkha chewing among school children of Arsikere, India.
Materials and Methods: Two thousand school children aged between 10 and 15 years were examined with individual interviews along with a questionnaire to evaluate the presence of betel nut and paan chewing habit in various forms. Children of both sexes were included in the study. Responses of all study population and the association between dependent and explanatory variables were assessed using Chi-square test.
Results: Twenty-eight percent of children had the habit of gutkha chewing, more among boys than girls at the ratio of 4:1 which was statistically significant (P < 0.05). The habit was more common in government school children than private school children; over 70% of children believed that it is a bad habit, but half the study population was not aware of side effects; 30% of children believed that it is not a bad habit and has no side effects.
Conclusion: There is a higher prevalence of gutkha chewing habit in school children who are not aware of the side effects. Children themselves purchase the gutkha and betel nut sachets, hence the Government should ban the sale and purchase by children.