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Obesity Linked to Otitis Media in Children

Body mass index, cholesterol levels higher in children receiving tube insertions

MONDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Children who are obese may have a higher risk of otitis media with effusion than children who are not, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

Jong Bin Kim, M.D., of Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues conducted a prospective, nonrandomized, case control study of 155 children aged 2 to 7 years who received unilateral or bilateral ventilation tube insertion for otitis media with effusion. These children were compared with 118 control children undergoing surgery for other diseases.

The authors found that body mass index and serum total cholesterol levels, but not serum triglycerides, were higher in children in the experimental group (mean BMI, 22.0; mean total cholesterol, 195 mg/dL) compared with the control group (mean BMI, 16.3; mean total cholesterol, 159.3 mg/dL). Frequency of tube insertion did not differ between the obese and non-obese groups.

"In comparing children with and without otitis media with effusion, we found that childhood obesity was significantly higher in children with otitis media with effusion," the authors wrote. "This finding suggests that childhood obesity could have an effect on the development of otitis media with effusion."

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