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Fam Med. 1988 Nov-Dec;20(6):426-30.

Household smoking exposure--association with middle ear effusions.

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Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City 84132.


Middle ear effusions are associated with hearing impairments which may result in abnormalities or lags in children's hearing, speech, and cognition. Treatment rather than prevention of this problem has previously been emphasized in the medical literature. While the risks of passive smoking on various aspects of health are now becoming accepted, little is known about the effect of smoke exposure on the middle ears of children. We evaluated the association between middle ear effusions and household smoke exposure in children seen in an outpatient office. A dose-response relationship was found between increasing household smoke exposure and the prevalence of middle ear effusions as indicated by abnormal tympanograms. An attempt to minimize smoke exposure via patient education may be one of the few means health care professionals have to effect primary prevention of this potentially morbid disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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