Fluoride Action Network


Fluorosis is an important public health problem in certain parts of India. Chandrapur is one of the fluorosis endemic district of Maharashtra. An investigation was undertaken in three villages of study area to assess the clinical symptoms of skeletal fluorosis and in turn to find out the severity of the disease. A door to door approach with face to face interviews of the study population was carried out and classified into three age groups i.e. 30-45 yrs (529), 46-60 yrs (387) and 61 yrs to above (262) for different grades of clinical symptoms and collected information was entered in a precoded questionnaire. Fluorosis was diagnosed clinically and as well as the drinking water samples were tested for fluoride level. The concentration of fluoride in drinking water varies from 0.66 to 5 mg/l. Among the 1178 subjects (572 males and 606 females) surveyed 367 (31.15%) patients exhibited the symptoms of different grades of skeletal fluorosis. The skeletal symptoms including tingling and numbing of extremities, joint pain in both upper and lower limbs, unable to bend, unable to bend neck, back pain, shoulder pain and knock-knee. Prevalence of skeletal fluorosis was found to be 20.22% (30-45 yrs), 34.62% (46-60 yrs) and 48.09% (61 yrs to above). A direct association existed between age and severity of skeletal fluorosis. A higher prevalence was recorded in the older one (61 yrs to above). With advancing age, the prevalence of skeletal fluorosis increased and it was more prevalent among males (36.18%) than the females (26.40%).