Acute Otitis Media During Infancy: Parent-reported Incidence and Modifiable Risk Factors

Prins-van Ginkel, A.C. et al. (2017) Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 36(3) pp. 245–249


Acute otitis media (AOM) is a common infection during infancy. By the age of 1 year, 25%–36% of children have experienced at least 1 episode of AOM and approximately 20% of children develop recurrent AOM.AOM is one of the main reasons for primary care visits, specialist referral, antibiotic consumption and surgical ear, nose and throat procedures among young children.But besides the high burden on health care, AOM also poses a high burden on parents and families; during an episode of AOM, which lasts on average 6–9 days, most parents are absent from work for 2–3 days and experience reduced quality of life because of lack of sleep and concerns about their child’s health. For these reasons, prevention of AOM is of major public health and economic importance.

With this study, we aim to determine the impact of day care attendance, breastfeeding and tobacco smoke and the effect of timing of these risk factors in the first year of life on the occurrence of AOM symptom episodes. To capture both medically and nonmedically attended AOM symptom episodes, we investigated the association between these risk factors and parent-reported AOM symptom episode occurrence in the community in a cohort of Dutch infants.

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