To investigate the relationship between pediatric otitis media with effusion and obesity, as determined by body mass index (BMI) (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) and serum triglyceride (TG) and total cholesterol (TC) concentrations.
A prospective, nonrandomized, case-control study.
The experimental group comprised 155 children aged 2 to 7 years, who received unilateral or bilateral ventilation tube insertion for the treatment of otitis media with effusion. The control group comprised 118 children with no history of otitis media with effusion, who underwent operations for conditions other than ear diseases. Based on BMI and serum TG and TC concentrations, we divided the experimental group into 2 subgroups, those who were and were not obese.
Main Outcome Measures
We determined the difference between the experimental and control groups in BMI and serum TG and TC concentrations and the difference between the obese and nonobese subgroups in frequency of ventilation tube insertion.
Mean ± SD BMI (22.0 ± 3.4 vs 16.3 ± 2.4) (P = .01) and mean ± SD TC level (195.0 ± 31.0 mg/dL vs 159.3 ± 26.9 mg/dL [5.05 ± 0.80 mmol/L vs 4.13 ± 0.70 mmol/L]) (P = .04), but not mean serum TG level (109.4 ± 40.4 mg/dL vs 90.0 ± 52.3 mg/dL [1.24 ± 0.46 mmol/L vs 1.02 ± 0.59 mmol/L]) (P = .13), were significantly higher in the experimental group than in the control group. Frequency of ventilation tube insertion, however, did not differ significantly between the obese and nonobese subgroups, whether divided by BMI (P = .10) or serum TG (P = .12) or TC (P = .07) concentration.
Childhood obesity may be associated with the occurrence of otitis media with effusion.