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N Engl J Med. 1979 May 17;300(20):1121-3.

Persistence of middle-ear effusion after acute otitis media in children.


We observed the frequent occurrence of persistent middle-ear effusion in children with acute otitis media and followed them according to standard procedures for otologic diagnosis. We performed a life-table analysis to identify risk factors for such persistent disease. Sixty-two patients were free of middle-ear effusion at one or more clinic visits two to 13 weeks after presentation and were considered cured; 45 had effusion at all clinic visits during this period and were defined as having persistent effusion. The life-table analysis showed that the relative risk for persistence was 3.8 times higher in children less than 24 months of age as compared with children 24 months of age or older (P less than 0.001) and that this risk was 2.8 times greater for white as compared with black children (P less than 0.01). Other factors examined were not identified as significant risk factors. Persistent middle-ear effusion may be associated with impaired hearing and appears to be the most important sequela of otitis media.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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