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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2016, Article ID 1523897, 10 pages
Research Article

Ear Infection and Its Associated Risk Factors in First Nations and Rural School-Aged Canadian Children

1Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, University of Saskatchewan, 104 Clinic Place, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 2Z4
2Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Saskatchewan, Room 2D01, Health Sciences Building, 107 Wiggins Road, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5E5
3College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, 104 Clinic Place, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 2Z4
4Department of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Royal University Hospital, 103 Hospital Drive, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 0W8
5Community A, SK, Canada
6Community B, SK, Canada
7Department of Academic Family Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, West Winds Primary Health Centre, 3311 Fairlight Drive, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7M 3Y5
8Department of Community Health & Epidemiology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, 107 Wiggins Road, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5E5
9Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre, University of Regina, 3737 Wascana Parkway Regina, SK, Canada S4S 0A2

Received 22 October 2015; Accepted 12 January 2016

Academic Editor: Namık Yaşar Özbek

Copyright © 2016 Chandima P. Karunanayake et al. 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.


Background. Ear infections in children are a major health problem and may be associated with hearing impairment and delayed language development. Objective. To determine the prevalence and the associated risk factors of ear infections in children 6–17 years old residing on two reserves and rural areas in the province of Saskatchewan. Methodology. Data were provided from two rural cross-sectional children studies. Outcome variable of interest was presence/absence of an ear infection. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between ear infection and the other covariates. Results. The prevalence of ear infection was 57.8% for rural Caucasian children and 43.6% for First Nations children living on-reserve. First Nations children had a lower risk of ear infection. Ear infection prevalence was positively associated with younger age; first born in the family; self-reported physician-diagnosed tonsillitis; self-reported physician-diagnosed asthma; and any respiratory related allergy. Protective effect of breastfeeding longer than three months was observed on the prevalence of ear infection. Conclusions. While ear infection is a prevalent condition of childhood, First Nations children were less likely to have a history of ear infections when compared to their rural Caucasian counterparts.