Risk Factors of Early Otitis Media in the Danish National Birth Cohort

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OBJECTIVE: To assess risk factors of otitis media (OM) in six-months-old children.

METHOD: The sample consisted of 69,105 mothers and their children from the Danish National Birth Cohort. The women were interviewed twice during pregnancy and again 6 months after birth. The outcome "one or more" maternal reported episodes of OM at age six months. In total 37 factors were assessed, covering prenatal, maternal, perinatal and postnatal factors.

RESULTS: At age six months 5.3% (95% CI 5.1-5.5) of the children had experienced one or more episodes of OM. From the regression analysis, 11 variables were associated with a risk of OM. When a Bonferroni correction was introduced, gender, prematurity, parity, maternal age, maternal self-estimated health, taking penicillin during pregnancy, and terminating breastfeeding before age six months, was associated with a risk of early OM. The adjusted ORs of OM for boys versus girls was 1.30 (95% CI 1.18-1.44). The OR having one sibling versus no siblings was 3.0 (95% CI 2.64-3.41). If the woman had been taking penicillin during pregnancy, the OR was 1.35 (95% CI 1.15-1.58). Children born before 38th gestational week had an increased OR for early OM of 1.49 (95% CI 1.21-1.82). Children of young women had an increased OR of early OM compared to children of older women. Additionally, children of women who rated their own health low compared to those rating their health as high, had an increased OR of 1.38 (95% CI 1.10-1.74). Finally, children being breastfeed less than 6 months, had an increased OR of 1.42 (95% CI 1.28-1.58) compared to children being breastfeed beyond 6 months.

CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that prenatal factors are of less importance regarding early OM before the age of six months. Postnatal risk factors seem to pose the main risk of early OM.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0166465
JournalP L o S One
Issue number11
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ID: 169006608