Author Affiliations: Center for Genomic Sciences, Allegheny Singer Research Institute, Allegheny General Hospital, MCP–Hahnemann University, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Otitis media has long been familiar to providers of pediatric care as
an infectious disease, and it is well recognized as the most common diagnosis
recorded for an ill-child office visit.1 This
translates into otitis media being the most common reason that children receive
antibiotics or undergo surgical care. In this issue of THE JOURNAL, Casselbrant
and colleagues2 demonstrate, through a comparative
study of monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs, that otitis media in children
has a strong heritable component. This work broadens the definition of a genetic
disease, encourages the development of a more integrative approach to the
study of medicine, and compels clinicians and researchers to consider a new
paradigm for the study of infectious disease.
Ehrlich GD, Post JC. Susceptibility to Otitis MediaStrong Evidence That Genetics Plays a Role. JAMA. 1999;282(22):2167-2169. doi:10.1001/jama.282.22.2167