Objectives: To identify possibly distinct acute otitis media (AOM) trajectories in childhood and identify determinants associated with specific AOM trajectories. To explore which child will become prone to recurrent AOM episodes and which will not. Design: Population-based prospective cohort study among 7863 children from birth until 10 years and their mothers. Methods: This study was embedded in the Generation R Study: a population-based prospective cohort study. Data on AOM and determinants were collected by repeated parental questionnaires. Distinct AOM trajectories within the population were identified with latent-class analyses. Next, using multivariate analysis we checked whether specific determinants were associated with specific trajectories. Results: Three distinct trajectories were identified; that is, non–otitis prone, early AOM—that is children who suffered AOM episodes until 3 years of age but not beyond, and persistent AOM—that is children who remained otitis-prone. Male gender (OR: 1.26, CI: 1.11-1.43) and day-care attendance (OR: 1.31, CI: 1.06-1.60) were associated with increased odds of early AOM. Breastfeeding was beneficial for children in both the early-AOM and persistent-AOM trajectories (OR: 0.78 and 0.77, respectively). Birth in the summer or autumn as compared with birth in the spring decreased odds of AOM only in the persistent-AOM trajectory. Half of all AOM-prone children recovered after the age of 3 years. Conclusion: Specific determinants are associated with different AOM trajectories. Future research is needed to better predict which child will remain otitis-prone and which recovers after the age of 3 years to better tailor treatment towards the needs of the individual child.

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doi.org/10.1111/coa.13736, hdl.handle.net/1765/135066
Clinical Otolaryngology
Department of Otorhinolaryngology

Van Ingen, G, le Clercq, C.M.P, Jaddoe, V.W.V, Moll, H.A, Duijts, L, Raat, H, … van der Schroeff, M.P. (2021). Identifying distinct trajectories of acute otitis media in children: A prospective cohort study. Clinical Otolaryngology. doi:10.1111/coa.13736