Korean J Otolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2000 Nov;43(11):1158-1165.

The Prevalence of Otitis Media with Effusion among Kindergarten and Elementary School Children in Song Buk, Seoul, Korea and Risk Factors

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee Universisity, Seoul, Korea. KHUENT@unitel.co.kr
  • 2Song Buk Health Center, Seoul, Korea.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Otitis media with effusion (OME) is the most common bacterial infection and the most frequent otologic indication for antimicrobial or surgical therapy in young children. It is also the leading cause of hearing disturbance in children. There have been few reports about the prevalence rate of OME in preschool children in Seoul. So, we investigated the prevalence of OME among kindergarten and elementary children in Song Buk Gu, Seoul, Korea. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Tympanometry and pneumatic otoscopic examination were performed on 3,364 children aged 3-7 years, from March to June of 1999.
A total of 11.74% of the subjects had unilateral or bilateral OME. The prevalence rate of OME in 3 year-old children was 30.0% and that of 7 year-old children was decreased to 8.9%. The prevalence rate in March was 18.5% and that in June decreased to 6.5%. The majority of the cases were free of subjective symptoms, but some of significant symptoms were ear fullness, otalgia, tendency to increase the TV volume and autophonia.
Significant risk factors are seasonal variation, age and the history of OME. There should be more attention paid to OME in children aged 7 years and younger, because its high prevalence and less symptoms.


Otitis Media with Effusion (OME); Prevalence; Epidemiology
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