Factors associated with the development of paediatric chronic otitis media by age nine: a prospective longitudinal cohort study of 6560 children.

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This study aimed to analyse social, health and environmental factors associated with the development of chronic otitis media by age nine.This was a prospective, longitudinal, birth cohort study of 6560 children, reviewed at age nine. Chronic otitis media defined as previous surgical history or video-otoscopic changes of tympanic membrane retraction, perforation or cholesteatoma. Non-affected children were used as the control group.Univariate analysis demonstrated an association between chronic otitis media and otorrhoea, snoring, grommet insertion, adenoidectomy, tonsillectomy, hearing loss, abnormal tympanograms and preterm birth. Multivariate analysis suggests many of these factors may be interrelated.The association between chronic otitis media and otorrhoea, abnormal tympanograms and grommets supports the role of the Eustachian tube and otitis media (with effusion or acute) in the pathogenesis of chronic otitis media. The role of snoring, adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy is unclear. Associations suggested by previous studies (sex, socioeconomic group, parental smoking, maternal education, childcare, crowding and siblings) were not found to be significant predictors in this analysis.

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