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Xylitol for preventing acute otitis media in children up to 12 years of age.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Acute otitis media (AOM) is the most common bacterial infection among young children in the United States with limitations and concerns over its treatment with antibiotics and surgery. Therefore, effective preventative measures are attractive. A potential preventative measure is xylitol, a natural sugar substitute that reduces the risk for dental decay. Xylitol can reduce the adherence of Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae) and Haemophilus influenzae (H. influenzae) to nasopharyngeal cells in vitro.

OBJECTIVES

To assess the efficacy and safety of xylitol to prevent AOM in children up to 12 years old.

SEARCH METHODS

We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 3) which contains the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group's Specialised Register, MEDLINE (1950 to August Week 1, 2011), EMBASE (1974 to August 2011), CINAHL (1982 to August 2011), Health and Psychosocial Instruments (1985 to August 2011), Healthstar (OVID) (1966 to August 2011) and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (2000 to August 2011).

SELECTION CRITERIA

Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-RCTs of children aged 12 years or younger where xylitol supplementation was compared to placebo or no treatment to prevent AOM.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

Two review authors independently selected trials from search results, assessed and rated study quality and extracted relevant data for inclusion in the review. We contacted trial authors to request missing data. We noted data on any adverse events of xylitol. We extracted data on relevant outcomes and estimated the effect size by calculating risk ratio (RR), risk difference (RD) and associated 95% confidence intervals (CI).

MAIN RESULTS

We identified four studies of adequate methodological quality that met our eligibility criteria. In three RCTs with a total of 1826 healthy Finnish children attending day care, there was a reduced risk of occurrence of AOM in the xylitol group (in any form) compared to the control group (RR 0.75; 95% CI 0.65 to 0.88). The fourth RCT included 1277 Finnish day care children with a respiratory infection and found no effect of xylitol on reducing the occurrence of AOM (RR 1.13; 95% CI 0.83 to 1.53). Xylitol chewing gum was superior to xylitol syrup in preventing AOM among healthy children (RR 0.59; 95% CI 0.39 to 0.89) but not during respiratory infection (RR 0.68; 95% CI 0.43 to 1.07). There was no difference between xylitol lozenges and xylitol syrups in preventing AOM among healthy children (RR 0.77; 95% CI 0.53 to 1.11) or among children during respiratory infection (RR 0.74; 95% CI 0.47 to 1.14). Similarly, no difference was noted between xylitol chewing gum and xylitol lozenges in preventing AOM among healthy children (RR 0.73; 95% CI 0.47 to 1.13) or among children during respiratory infection (RR 0.92; 95% CI 0.59 to 1.46). Among the reasons for drop-outs, there were no significant differences in abdominal discomfort and rash between the xylitol and the control groups.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS

There is fair evidence that the prophylactic administration of xylitol among healthy children attending day care centres reduces the occurrence of AOM by 25%. This meta-analysis is limited since the data arise from a small number of studies, mainly from the same research group.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Discipline ofDental PublicHealth,Discipline of Endodontics,CommunityDentalHealth ServicesResearchUnit, Faculty ofDentistry,University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. amir.azarpazhooh@dentistry.utoronto.ca.

    , ,

    Source

    MeSH

    Acute Disease
    Chewing Gum
    Child
    Child, Preschool
    Female
    Gels
    Humans
    Infant
    Infant, Newborn
    Male
    Otitis Media
    Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
    Sweetening Agents
    Xylitol

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Meta-Analysis
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    Review
    Systematic Review

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    22071833

    Citation

    Azarpazhooh, Amir, et al. "Xylitol for Preventing Acute Otitis Media in Children Up to 12 Years of Age." The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2011, p. CD007095.
    Azarpazhooh A, Limeback H, Lawrence HP, et al. Xylitol for preventing acute otitis media in children up to 12 years of age. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011.
    Azarpazhooh, A., Limeback, H., Lawrence, H. P., & Shah, P. S. (2011). Xylitol for preventing acute otitis media in children up to 12 years of age. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (11), p. CD007095. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007095.pub2.
    Azarpazhooh A, et al. Xylitol for Preventing Acute Otitis Media in Children Up to 12 Years of Age. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Nov 9;(11)CD007095. PubMed PMID: 22071833.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Xylitol for preventing acute otitis media in children up to 12 years of age. AU - Azarpazhooh,Amir, AU - Limeback,Hardy, AU - Lawrence,Herenia P, AU - Shah,Prakeshkumar S, Y1 - 2011/11/09/ PY - 2011/11/11/entrez PY - 2011/11/11/pubmed PY - 2012/5/12/medline SP - CD007095 EP - CD007095 JF - The Cochrane database of systematic reviews JO - Cochrane Database Syst Rev IS - 11 N2 - BACKGROUND: Acute otitis media (AOM) is the most common bacterial infection among young children in the United States with limitations and concerns over its treatment with antibiotics and surgery. Therefore, effective preventative measures are attractive. A potential preventative measure is xylitol, a natural sugar substitute that reduces the risk for dental decay. Xylitol can reduce the adherence of Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae) and Haemophilus influenzae (H. influenzae) to nasopharyngeal cells in vitro. OBJECTIVES: To assess the efficacy and safety of xylitol to prevent AOM in children up to 12 years old. SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 3) which contains the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group's Specialised Register, MEDLINE (1950 to August Week 1, 2011), EMBASE (1974 to August 2011), CINAHL (1982 to August 2011), Health and Psychosocial Instruments (1985 to August 2011), Healthstar (OVID) (1966 to August 2011) and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (2000 to August 2011). SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-RCTs of children aged 12 years or younger where xylitol supplementation was compared to placebo or no treatment to prevent AOM. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently selected trials from search results, assessed and rated study quality and extracted relevant data for inclusion in the review. We contacted trial authors to request missing data. We noted data on any adverse events of xylitol. We extracted data on relevant outcomes and estimated the effect size by calculating risk ratio (RR), risk difference (RD) and associated 95% confidence intervals (CI). MAIN RESULTS: We identified four studies of adequate methodological quality that met our eligibility criteria. In three RCTs with a total of 1826 healthy Finnish children attending day care, there was a reduced risk of occurrence of AOM in the xylitol group (in any form) compared to the control group (RR 0.75; 95% CI 0.65 to 0.88). The fourth RCT included 1277 Finnish day care children with a respiratory infection and found no effect of xylitol on reducing the occurrence of AOM (RR 1.13; 95% CI 0.83 to 1.53). Xylitol chewing gum was superior to xylitol syrup in preventing AOM among healthy children (RR 0.59; 95% CI 0.39 to 0.89) but not during respiratory infection (RR 0.68; 95% CI 0.43 to 1.07). There was no difference between xylitol lozenges and xylitol syrups in preventing AOM among healthy children (RR 0.77; 95% CI 0.53 to 1.11) or among children during respiratory infection (RR 0.74; 95% CI 0.47 to 1.14). Similarly, no difference was noted between xylitol chewing gum and xylitol lozenges in preventing AOM among healthy children (RR 0.73; 95% CI 0.47 to 1.13) or among children during respiratory infection (RR 0.92; 95% CI 0.59 to 1.46). Among the reasons for drop-outs, there were no significant differences in abdominal discomfort and rash between the xylitol and the control groups. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is fair evidence that the prophylactic administration of xylitol among healthy children attending day care centres reduces the occurrence of AOM by 25%. This meta-analysis is limited since the data arise from a small number of studies, mainly from the same research group. SN - 1469-493X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22071833/Xylitol_for_preventing_acute_otitis_media_in_children_up_to_12_years_of_age_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD007095.pub2 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -