Acute otitis media and season of birth.Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2005; 69(4):487-91IJ
This study examines the question whether season of birth is associated with acute otitis media (AOM) and recurrent AOM (rAOM) and whether season of birth is associated with early age of AOM onset.
This was done in a population-based survey of 591 unselected Greenlandic children aged 3-5 and 8 years, living in the two largest towns in Greenland. The overall attendance rate was 86%. Information of AOM episodes was obtained from the parents and cross-checked in medical records available for 95% of the children. In total, 67% reported AOM at least once and 30% of those had rAOM.
According to season of birth, the frequency of history of AOM in general varied between 63% and 70% lowest for birth in the autumn and highest for birth in the spring but without any significant statistical difference (p=0.51). The similar variation in rAOM according to season of birth was between 21% and 35%, highest for children born in autumn and winter and lowest for children born in the spring (p=0.09). Additionally, there was no difference in age at onset of the first AOM episode according to season of birth. However, AOM children born in the summer and autumn periods have a significantly higher relative risk (RR=1.44, CI=1.04-1.99) of attracting rAOM than AOM children born in the winter and spring periods. This may be due to a higher risk of being quickly reinfected in the late autumn and winter period with another episode of upper respiratory tract infection.
Season of birth do not seem to be a predictor of AOM episodes or early onset of AOM but children born in the summer and autumn periods who attracts AOM have a higher risk of developing rAOM.