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Fam Pract. 2008 Aug;25(4):233-6. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmn030. Epub 2008 Jun 17.

Is pacifier use a risk factor for acute otitis media? A dynamic cohort study.

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  • 1Julius Center for Health Science and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Stratenum 6.131, PO Box 85060, 3508 AB Utrecht, The Netherlands. m.rovers@umcutrecht.nl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recently, the use of a pacifier has been identified as a risk factor for acute otitis media (AOM). The studies performed so far, however, suffer from methodological limitations.

OBJECTIVE:

To study whether pacifier use increases the risk of AOM.

METHODS:

Four hundred and ninety-five children between the ages of 0 and 4 years followed from 2000 to 2005 in a dynamic population study in the Leidsche Rijn residential area in Utrecht, The Netherlands. At baseline, the parents of these children filled out a questionnaire regarding pacifier use and potential confounders. AOM was diagnosed by GPs according to the International Classification of Primary Care coding system. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated.

RESULTS:

Of the 216 children that used a pacifier at baseline, 76 (35%) developed at least one episode of AOM, and of the 260 children that did not use a pacifier, 82 (32%) developed at least one AOM episode; for recurrent AOM, these figures were 33 (16%) versus 27 (11%), respectively. The adjusted ORs for pacifier use and AOM and recurrent AOM were 1.3 (95% CI 0.9-1.9) and 1.9 (95% CI 1.1-3.2), respectively.

CONCLUSION:

Pacifier use appears to be a risk factor for recurrent AOM. Parents should be informed about the possible negative effects of using a pacifier once their child has been diagnosed with AOM to avoid recurrent episodes.

PMID:
18562333
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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