Oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF) is a fibrotic, potentially malignant disorder of the oral cavity. The prevalence of OSMF in the south-east Asian population and the role of the areca nut in its pathogenesis are well documented. However, to understand the pathophysiology of the condition, it is necessary to study the risk factors and population characteristics of individuals affected by the condition. Thus, the present retrospective study aimed to evaluate the clinicopathological features of OSMF. Clinically and histologically diagnosed cases of OSMF reported from 1998 to 2018 were included in the present study. Clinicopathological parameters of gender, age, stage, grade, and habit history were included. To test the association, the chi-square test was used.
The OSMF cases showed a male predominance with the male to female ratio being 10.7:1. A wide age range from 14 years to 84 years was noted. Histological grade and clinical stage of OSMF showed significant association (p<0.05). The majority of cases (63 out of 141) showed advanced grades of OSMF. An association between gender and age (p<0.05) as well as between gender, habit history, and grade of OSMF (p<0.05) was observed. Betel nut and tobacco consumption in the younger age group and their significant association with advanced grade and stage of OSMF was observed in the present study. The study highlights a need for education of patients regarding the use of the substances and their deleterious effect on the disease progression and quality of life of the patient.