JOURNAL ARTICLE
META-ANALYSIS
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Risk factors for chronic and recurrent otitis media-a meta-analysis.

Risk factors associated with chronic otitis media (COM) and recurrent otitis media (ROM) have been investigated in previous studies. The objective of this study was to integrate the findings and determine the possible risk factors for COM/ROM based on our meta-analysis. A comprehensive search of electronic bibliographic databases (PubMed, Embase, CNKI and Wanfang database) from 1964 to Dec 2012, as well as a manual search of references of articles, was performed. A total of 2971 articles were searched, and 198 full-text articles were assessed for eligibility; 24 studies were eligible for this meta-analysis. Regarding risk factors for COM/ROM, there were two to nine different studies from which the odds ratios (ORs) could be pooled. The presence of allergy or atopy increased the risk of COM/ROM (OR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.13-1.64; P = 0.001). An upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) significantly increased the risk of COM/ROM (OR, 6.59; 95% CI, 3.13-13.89; P<0.00001). Snoring appeared to be a significant risk factor for COM/ROM (OR, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.78-2.16; P<0.00001). A patient history of acute otitis media (AOM)/ROM increased the risk of COM/ROM (OR, 11.13; 95% CI, 1.06-116.44; P = 0.04). Passive smoke significantly increased the risk of COM/ROM (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.02-1.89 P = 0.04). Low social status appeared to be a risk factor for COM/ROM (OR, 3.82; 95% CI, 1.11-13.15; P = 0.03). Our meta-analysis identified reliable conclusions that allergy/atopy, URTI, snoring, previous history of AOM/ROM, Second-hand smoke and low social status are important risk factors for COM/ROM. Other unidentified risk factors need to be identified in further studies with critical criteria.

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