Study of Effect of Household Parental Smoking on Development of Acute Otitis Media in Children Under 12 Years

  •  Soroush Amani    
  •  Parastoo Yarmohammadi    


BACKGROUND & AIM: High prevalence of acute otitis media (AOM) in children represents a combination of the factors developing eustachian tube dysfunction and higher susceptibility to upper respiratory tract infections in children. This disease is relatively prevalent in Iran and much cost is spent annually to treat it. This study investigated the effect of household parental smoking on development of AOM in children under 12 years.

METHODS: In this case-control study all patients under the age of 12 years with AOM referring an ENT clinic in Shahrekord, southwest Iran between April 2014 and August 2014 were enrolled by convenience sampling. This study included two groups. Group 1 (G1) was exposed to parental smoking at home and group 2 (G2) was not. For the patients, a questionnaire of demographic data such as age and gender, the disease symptoms, parents' education level, history of respiratory diseases, allergy, surgery (adenoidectomy, tonsillectomy, and tympanostomy), and household smoking was filled out by a specialist through interview.

RESULTS: In this study, 250 children 1-12 years with AOM, 145 in G1 and 105 in G2, were investigated. Clinical symptoms including fever (p=0.001) and hearing loss (p=0.014) were significantly more frequent in the children of G1 than G2, and otalgia, discharge, and tinnitus were similarly frequent in the two groups (p>0.05). Also, eardrum inflammation was more frequent in G1 than G2, with no significant difference (p>0.05). AOM was reported 70.3% in G1, which was higher than 26.7% reported in G2 (p=0.001). Also, asthma, recurrent ear pain, enlargement of the tonsils, and respiratory problems were more frequent in G1 than G2 (p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Parental smoking was a risk factor for AOM and respiratory problems and therefore the parents are recommended to avoid smoking near children to reduce the likelihood of AOM development and exacerbation in children.

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