Association of Down's syndrome and water fluoride level

A systematic review of the evidence

Penny Whiting, Marian McDonagh, Jos Kleijnen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: A review of the safety and efficacy of drinking water fluoridation was commissioned by the UK Department of Health to investigate whether the evidence supported a beneficial effect of water fluoridation and whether there was any evidence of adverse effects. Down's syndrome was one of the adverse effects reported. The aim of this review is to examine the evidence for an association between water fluoride level and Down's syndrome. Methods: A systematic review of research. Studies were identified through a comprehensive literature search, scanning citations and online requests for papers. Studies in all languages which investigated the incidence of Down's syndrome in areas with different levels of fluoride in their water supplies were included. Study inclusion and quality was assessed independently by 2 reviewers. A qualitative analysis was conducted. Results: Six studies were included. All were ecological in design and scored poorly on the validity assessment. The estimates of the crude relative risk ranged from 0.84 to 3.0. Four studies showed no significant associations between the incidence of Down's syndrome and water fluoride level and two studies by the same author found a significant (p < 0.05) positive association (increased Down's syndrome incidence with increased water fluoride level). Only two of the studies controlled for confounding factors and only one of these presented summary outcome measures. Conclusions: The evidence of an association between water fluoride level and Down's syndrome incidence is inconclusive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 24 2001
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Down Syndrome
Fluorides
Water
Fluoridation
Incidence
Water Supply
Drinking Water
Language
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Safety
Health
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Association of Down's syndrome and water fluoride level : A systematic review of the evidence. / Whiting, Penny; McDonagh, Marian; Kleijnen, Jos.

In: BMC Public Health, Vol. 1, 6, 24.07.2001, p. 1-8.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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