Early acute otitis media: predictor for AOM and respiratory infections in schoolchildren?Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2007; 71(8):1251-9IJ
It has been reported that acute otitis media (AOM) and respiratory infectious morbidity still are common in schoolchildren. However, the significance of early initiation of AOM on later respiratory infections is not known. The aim of the study was to assess whether early initiation of AOM is a predictor for AOM and other respiratory infections in schoolchildren, and if environmental exposures and host factors in early life predict later AOM.
A population-based, prospective study of 3754 children born in Oslo in 1992/93, of which 2549 children were followed from birth to 10 years. Main outcome measures were questionnaire-based information on AOM and other respiratory infections at ages 6 months, 1 year and 10 years.
Of the 190 (5.3%) children with one or more episodes of AOM before 6 months, 97 (51.1%) remained susceptible the next 6 months. The total number of children with one or more episodes of AOM from 6 to 12 months was 812 (25.1%). Of the 336 (13.2%) with AOM at 10, 95 (28.3%) also had AOM the first year of life. One or more episodes of tonsillopharyngitis or lower respiratory infections were experienced in 624 (24.4%) of the children at 10 years. There was a predominance of boys with AOM the first year of life, while girls were more prone to AOM at age 10. AOM the first year of life was not strongly associated with AOM at age 10 with crude and adjusted odds ratios 1.3 (95% CI 1.0-1.6) and 1.2 (95% CI 0.9-1.5), respectively. A corresponding tendency was found for other respiratory infections (tonsillopharyngitis or lower respiratory infections) at age 10. Tobacco smoke exposure at birth, early life atopic eczema and otitis media surgery increased the risk of AOM at age 10.
We found no strong association between early AOM and AOM and other respiratory infections in schoolchildren. Parental smoking at birth, early life atopic eczema and female gender were only weakly associated with AOM in 10-year olds while otitis media surgery was strongly associated with AOM in schoolchildren.