• Article

Relationship of environmental tobacco smoke to otitis media (OM) in children

Introduction: Many, but not all, studies have found a correlation between environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and acute otitis media (AGM) and other adverse otologic outcomes. Given its high personal and societal costs and the divergent findings of the effect of ETS on middle ear disease, the aim of the current study was to assess the impact and possible determinant factors of ETS on recurrent (two or more) episodes of AOM. Methods: The study was performed at Heim Pal Children's Hospital, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Department, Budapest, Hungary. Caregivers of a convenience sample of 412 children attending the ENT outpatient clinic were surveyed via a 22-item questionnaire regarding demographics, socioeconomics, and smoking behaviours of the child's family; as well as care-givers' self report of the number of AOM episodes of the child. Results: Of the 412 participants, 155 (38%) children's parents smoked. In bivariate analysis, two or more episodes of AOM correlated with reported hearing problems, day care enrolment, parental employment and increased age of the child. In multivariate logistic regression, parental smoking more than doubled a child's risk for recurrent AOM while increased maternal employment (e.g. part-time or full-time versus unemployed) boosted risk up to fourfold. Among children whose parents smoked, half-packs of cigarettes smoked per day and day care attendance doubled or nearly tripled, respectively, the risk of recurrent AOM episodes. Conclusions: Childhood exposure to ETS is high among an ENT clinic population of Hungarian children. Such exposure correlates with AOM episodes, ENT operations and conductive hearing loss. Data such as these argue for strict laws smoke-free laws not only in Hungary, but also in Europe and around the world. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved


Csakanyi, Z., Czinner, A., Spangler, J., Rogers, T., & Katona, G. (2012). Relationship of environmental tobacco smoke to otitis media (OM) in children. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 76(7), 989-993. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijporl.2012.03.017