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Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 2000 Dec;25(6):485-91.

The frequency of otitis media with effusion in British pre-school children: a guide for treatment. ALSPAC Study Team.

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Bristol Children's Hospital, Unit of Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology and Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.


Data on the prevalence of otitis media with effusion (OME) as shown by serial tympanometry is presented for young children during the first 5 years of life. The children were participants in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ALSPAC); a randomly selected 10% (n = 1400) of whom were selected for examination at ages 8, 12, 18, 25, 31, 37, 43, 49 and 61 months. Whilst sex had no effect, there was a decrease in prevalence of OME with increasing age. There was a marked seasonal effect on the prevalence of OME. Bilateral and unilateral OME were significantly more prevalent in the winter than in the summer months (36.6% in February in children aged 8 months compared with 16% at 61 months and 16.4% in August in children aged 8 months compared with 3.1% at 61 months). The results form an important background against which to assess both the results of screening and also the indications for surgical treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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