Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Demographic disparities found among children with frequent ear infections

Date:
August 10, 2010
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Research has documented that ethnic and socioeconomic disparities exist among patients with conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Now, a new study has found disparities among children suffering from repeated ear infections.

Research has documented that ethnic and socioeconomic disparities exist among patients with conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Now, a new study by researchers from UCLA and Harvard University has found disparities among children suffering from repeated ear infections.

The findings, published in the August edition of the journal The Laryngoscope, show that frequent ear infections plague white children and children living below the poverty level more than children of other racial or ethnic backrounds or income levels.

Despite a recent overall decline in the incidence of otitis media, or ear infection, it is still one of the most common and burdensome ailments affecting children. More than 80 percent of children have at least one infection by the age of 3, and medical and surgical treatments for these infections cost $3 billion to $5 billion annually. Each year, about 4.65 million children in the U.S. suffer "frequent" ear infections, defined as more than three infections over a 12-month period.

"An understanding of the size and distribution of the population of children with frequent ear infections is important because it is often these patients who will require more invasive and costly treatments," said study co-author Dr. Nina Shapiro, director of pediatric otolaryngology at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA and an associate professor of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "In this era of health care reform, it will be important to determine how to reach out to this population of children, whose inadequate health insurance coverage limits their options for treatment."

Researchers used data from a 10-year period (1997-2006) taken from the National Health Interview Survey, a large-scale, household-based survey of a statistically representative sample of the U.S. population.

Parents of children under the age of 18 were asked various questions, including whether their child had three or more ear infections over the previous 12 months. For those who answered yes, researchers pulled demographic data -- including age, sex, race/ethnicity, income level and insurance status -- to determine the influence of these variables on frequent ear infections.

The average age of children in the study was 8.5 years old, and 51 percent were boys. Of the parents surveyed, 6.6 percent reported having a child who suffered frequent ear infections.

The researchers found that among white children, 7.0 percent had frequent ear infections, compared with 6.2 percent of Hispanic children, 5.0 percent of African American children and 4.5 percent of children from other racial or ethnic groups.

They also found that children from households under the poverty level had a higher incidence -- 8.0 percent -- of frequent ear infections than children from above the poverty level, even after adjusting for race and ethnicity.

"The racial and ethnic disparity was somewhat surprising," Shapiro said. "We are not certain why these gaps exist, but possible explanations could include anatomic differences, cultural factors or disparate access to health care. It could also be that white children are overdiagnosed and non-white children are underdiagnosed."

The next stage of research is to better understand the impact of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities and inequalities related to access to health care within the population of children with frequent ear infections.

Co-authors of the study included Dr. Kalpesh T. Vakharia, of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Neil Bhattacharyya, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. The original article was written by Amy Albin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kalpesh T. Vakharia, Nina L. Shapiro, Neil Bhattacharyya. Demographic disparities among children with frequent ear infections in the United States. The Laryngoscope, 2010; 120 (8): 1667 DOI: 10.1002/lary.20961

Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Demographic disparities found among children with frequent ear infections." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100809161232.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2010, August 10). Demographic disparities found among children with frequent ear infections. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100809161232.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Demographic disparities found among children with frequent ear infections." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100809161232.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins