there a correlation between the number of years an immigrant
has lived in the United States, and his or her ability to access
oral health care? That’s one of several questions Dr. Gustavo
Cruz, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology & Health Promotion
and Director of Public Health Promotion, will examine in a new
study focusing on the oral health status of immigrants living
in New York City. The two-year study is funded by the National
Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), with a
grant of more than $300,000.
New York’s foreign-born population grew from 2.1 million in
1990 to 2.9 million in 2000. This study is believed to be the most
in-depth effort to date to pinpoint factors that influence the oral
health of specific Asian, Hispanic/Latino, and West Indian subgroups
living in the United States.
Dr. Cruz will examine whether there is a correlation between country
of birth, age at immigration, and number of years in the U.S., and
perceptions of oral health, utilization of oral health care services,
and oral health status, as measured by levels of caries and periodontal
Dr. Cruz will analyze data on the top six racial/ethnic immigrant
groups in New York City – Chinese, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans,
Central/South Americans, West Indians, and Indians from the South
Asian subcontinent – originally collected by the NYU Minority
Oral Health Research Center, one of four federally-funded regional
institutes that operated from 1992 to 2000.