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Aust Fam Physician. 2012 Dec;41(12):978-80.

Chronic suppurative otitis media and cholesteatoma in Australia's refugee population.

Author information

1
Health in Human Diversity Unit, Discipline of General Practice, University of Adelaide, Australia. jill.benson@adelaide.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM) and cholesteatoma are conditions common in the developing world, and CSOM accounts for most of the burden of hearing impairment worldwide. The aim of this research was to ascertain whether refugees newly arrived in Australia have a higher prevalence of CSOM and cholesteatoma than the majority of the Australian population.

METHODS:

An audit of patient records from the Migrant Health Service in South Australia was performed for the period 1 June 2009 to 30 November 2011. The prevalence of CSOM and cholesteatoma in newly registered patients was calculated.

RESULTS:

The rates of CSOM (2.64%) and cholesteatoma (0.9%) in adults attending the refugee service are much higher than that documented in the majority of the Australian population.

DISCUSSION:

The diversity of Australia's population brings new and challenging health conditions to practitioners and to the health system. General practitioners should be alert to the fact that in the newly arrive refugee population, CSOM and cholesteatoma are more common and are not just diseases of childhood. It is important to diagnose and appropriately treat CSOM and cholesteatoma as they have a high morbidity.

PMID:
23210124
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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