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Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2009 Nov;9(6):465-72.

Relationship between pediatric obesity and otitis media with effusion.


Although eustachian tube dysfunction and bacterial infection have been shown to cause otitis media with effusion (OME), other etiologies are possible. One of the most common medical conditions in children is obesity, which can have effects throughout the body. Little is known, however, about the relationship between obesity and OME. Obesity may result in altered cytokine expression, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or fat accumulation, all of which may contribute to OME. Conversely, OME may induce taste changes through middle ear cavity inflammation, thus contributing to obesity. A similar pattern of taste change has been shown in patients with gustatory nerve anesthesia. Further research on the relationship between obesity and OME may help to determine the exact etiology of OME and contribute to our knowledge about the causes of obesity.

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