The risk of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) was suggested to be increased in chronic otitis media patients. This study expanded previous findings by using pediatric patients with recurrent otitis media.
A nested case-control study.
Participants in the Korean National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort that were less than 15 years old from 2002 to 2004 were included.
Overall, 24,226 patients with ≥ 5 instances of otitis media were 1:1 matched with a group controlled for age, sex, income, and region of residence.
Main Outcome Measure:
The occurrence of SSNHL was followed until 2013. The hazard ratio (HR) for SSNHL was analyzed in the otitis media patients using a stratified Cox proportional hazard regression model. Matching variables were stratified. The histories of sinusitis and atopic dermatitis were adjusted. Subgroup analysis was performed according to age and sex.
Overall, 0.14% (33/24,226) of the otitis media group and 0.06% (14/24,226) of the control group had SSNHL (p = 0.006). The otitis media group had a higher adjusted HR for SSNHL than the control group (adjusted HR = 2.13, 95% CI = 1.13–4.02). According to age, the 10- to 14-year-old group showed a 9.07-fold higher HR for SSNHL than the control group (95% CI = 1.14–72.54). According to sex, the female group showed a 3.74-fold higher HR for SSNHL than the control group (95% CI = 1.24–11.29).
Recurrent otitis media in children was related to the onset of SSNHL.