Hospitalisation with otitis media in early childhood and cognitive function in young adult life: A prevalence study among Danish conscripts

BMC Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 1.93). 01/2013; 13(1):8. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2431-13-8
Source: PubMed


Otitis media (OM) is a very common condition in children and occurs during years that are critical to the development of learning, literacy, and math skills. Therefore, among a large cohort of Danish conscripts, we aimed to examine the association between hospitalisation with OM in early childhood and cognitive function and educational level in early adulthood.

We conducted a population-based prevalence study using linked data from healthcare databases and conscription records of Danish men born between 1977 and 1983. We identified all hospitalisations with OM before 8 years of age. Cognitive function was measured by the Boerge Prien validated group intelligence test (Danish Børge Prien Prøve, BPP). We adjusted for potential confounders with and without stratification by hearing impairment. Furthermore, we examined the association between hospitalisation with OM and the prevalence of having achieved a General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), stratified by quartiles of BPP scores.

Of the 18 412 eligible conscripts aged 18–25 years, 1000 (5.5%) had been hospitalised with OM before age 8. Compared with conscripts without such a record, the adjusted prevalence ratio (PR) for a BPP score in the bottom quartile was 1.20 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.09–1.33). There was no major difference in the proportion of men with a GCSE and those without among those hospitalised with OM in early childhood. For men in the bottom and upper quartiles of BPP scores, the PRs for early childhood hospitalisation with OM were 0.89 (95% CI: 0.59–1.33) and 0.96 (95% CI, 0.88–1.05), respectively. Among men with severe hearing impairment, the proportion with a BPP score in the bottom quartile did not differ between those with and without an OM hospitalisation [PR = 1.01 (95% CI: 0.78–1.34)].

Overall, we found that hospitalisation with OM in early childhood was associated with a slightly lower cognitive function in early adulthood. Hospitalisation for OM did not seem to influence the prevalence of GSCE when level of BPP was taken into account.

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Available from: Niels Fisker, Dec 04, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To examine the association between hospitalisations for otitis media and area-level measures of household crowding among children in New Zealand.Methods: Counts of hospital admissions for otitis media by census area unit were offset against population data from the 2006 national census. Area-level household crowding, exposure to tobacco smoke in the home, equivalised income and individual-level characteristics age and sex were adjusted for. To examine effect modification by ethnicity, three separate poisson models were examined for the total, Māori and non-Māori populations.Results: Household crowding was significantly associated with hospital admissions for otitis media after adjustment in all three models. Neighbourhoods with the highest compared to the lowest proportion of crowded homes exhibited incidence rate ratios of 1.25 (95%CI 1.12–1.37) in the total population, 1.59 (95%CI 1.21–2.04) in the Māori restricted model and 1.17 (95%CI 1.06–1.32) in the non-Māori restricted model.Conclusions: Otitis media hospitalisations are associated with area-level measures of household crowding and other risk factors in this ecological study. The largest increase in otitis media incidence relative to neighbourhood rates of household crowding was exhibited among Māori cases of otitis media.Implications: This study adds weight to the growing body of literature linking infectious disease risk to overcrowding in the home.
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