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Editorial
December 8, 1999

Susceptibility to Otitis MediaStrong Evidence That Genetics Plays a Role

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Center for Genomic Sciences, Allegheny Singer Research Institute, Allegheny General Hospital, MCP–Hahnemann University, Pittsburgh, Pa.

JAMA. 1999;282(22):2167-2169. doi:10.1001/jama.282.22.2167

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.

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