The prevalence of chronic otitis media
and its complication rates in teenagers
and adult patients
Lin YS;Lin LC;Lee FP;Lee KC
OBJECTIVE: To determine the annual complication rates of chronic otitis media (COM) and its management. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Data were extracted from 3,223 adult patients, aged 15.1 years and older, under the
diagnosis of COM from 1998 to 2007. Complications secondary to COM were identified in a total of 115 patients. RESULTS: The incidence of COM in adults decreased from 407 to 145 cases per year (R(2) = 0.845, P < 0.001) from 1998 to 2007. The mean age of patients with COM increased from 44.67 to 49.43 years (R(2) = 0.896, P < 0.001). The prevalence of COM decreased considerably during the study period. However, the annual extracranial complication rate (R(2) = 0.109, P = 0.352) and intracranial rate (R(2) = 0.382, P = 0.057) did not reduce during the past 10 years. CONCLUSION: The complication rate for COM remained steady in the past 10 years, regardless of the overall reduction in the prevalence of COM with use of antibiotics. A high index of suspicion and imaging studies for early identification are recommended. Pneumococcal vaccination is recommended, particularly for the elderly patients who are treated conservatively because of relatively poor general health conditions.