Recent studies have investigated the mechanism by which refluxed gastric materials reach the middle ear, to establish otitis media with effusion (OME) causal relation between them in both children and adults. Therefore, the relationship between OME and gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) should be further studied extensively.
To identify eligible original articles, we searched a range of computerized databases, including Medline via PubMed, EMBASE, CNKI, and Web of Science with a systematic searching strategy. Subgroup analysis was performed to analyze heterogeneity and Egger and Begg funnel plot to assess the publication bias of the included articles.
The meta-analysis had an overall sample size of 1961. We identified a significant relationship between OME and GERD, with a pooled odds ratio (OR) of 4.52 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.42–8.44; p < 0.001). The pooled data were calculated with the random-effects model as a high significant heterogeneity was found among the studies and there was no significant publication bias observed.
The meta-analysis suggested that there was a significant association between otitis media with effusion and gastroesophageal reflux disease.