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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 963132, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/963132
Clinical Study

Ear Infection and Its Associated Risk Factors, Comorbidity, and Health Service Use in Australian Children

1The Australian National University, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health Acton, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
2ANZSOG Institute for Governance, University of Canberra, Acton, Canberra, ACT 2617, Australia

Received 28 February 2013; Revised 30 April 2013; Accepted 23 May 2013

Academic Editor: Joel R. Rosh

Copyright © 2013 Vasoontara Yiengprugsawan and Anthony Hogan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This study investigates and identifies risk factors, comorbidity, and health service use related to ear infection in Australian children. Two cross-sectional analyses of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) involved 4,983 children aged 4 to 5 years in 2004 and aged 10 to 11 years in 2010. Odds ratios (ORs) were analysed using bivariate logistic regression. The prevalence of parent-reported ear infection was 7.9% (394) among children aged 4 to 5 years and 3.3% (139) at 10 to 11 years. Our study found that risk factors associated with ear infection were indigenous status, not being breastfed, mother or father smoking at least once a day, and father’s school completion at year 9 or lower. By age 10 to 11 years significantly reported comorbidities were tonsillitis (OR 4.67; ), headache (OR 2.13; ), and asthma (OR 1.67; ) and ear infection was found to be associated with the use of pediatrician (OR 1.83; ), other specialist (OR 2.12; ), and early intervention services (OR 3.08; ). This empirical evidence can be used to inform the development of intervention and management programs for ear infection.