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Assessment of the association between atopic conditions and tympanostomy tube placement in children

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This study assesses the relationship between otitis media and atopic conditions in children by comparing the incidence of tympanostomy tube placement between children with and without atopic conditions: asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis. Study subjects were a cohort of 323 healthy children who participated in a study of vaccine response. All episodes of tympanostomy tube placement and physician diagnoses of allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis were collected through comprehensive medical record review. Asthma status was ascertained through application of established criteria. We compared incidence rates of tympanostomy tube placement between children with and without atopic conditions. We fitted data to a Poisson regression model to calculate relative risk ratios (RRs) and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Three subjects were excluded who did not have parental authorization for using records for research. Of the remaining 320 subjects, 170 (53%) were male subjects, 268 (94%) were white, 124 (39%) were asthmatic patients, and 20 (6%) had tympanostomy tube placement. Children with asthma before the index date of tympanostomy tube placement were more likely to have tympanostomy tube placement compared with those without asthma (RR, 19.33; 95% CI, 11.41; 32.75; p < 0.001). We found a similar association between asthma ever (before or after index date) and the incidence of tympanostomy tube placement (RR, 1.53; 95% CI, 0.93‐2.53; p = 0.095). This was true for children with allergic rhinitis compared with those without allergic rhinitis (RR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.01‐2.86; p = 0.007). Atopic dermatitis was not associated with the incidence of tympanostomy tube placement. Asthma or allergic rhinitis may be unrecognized risk factors for recurrent or persistent otitis media. However, given the small sample size of the study, a cohort study with a larger sample size is necessary.
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Keywords: Allergic rhinitis; asthma; atopic dermatitis; atopy; child; infection; otitis media; pediatrics; tympanostomy tube

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-05-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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