To determine the burden on pediatricians imposed by disease of the middle ear, we analyzed data from 2,570 children followed up prospectively since birth. Disease of the middle ear accounted for a large proportion of all visits made during the first five years of life, rising from 22.7% during the first year to about 40% in years 4 and 5. About one visit in three made for illness of any kind resulted in the diagnosis of disease of the middle ear. Approximately three fourths of all visits to follow up any illness were made to follow up disease of the middle ear. Disease of the middle ear was diagnosed at between 5% and 10% of all well-baby visits. Children from private practice averaged fewer visits for all reasons than did children using a large neighborhood health center, but the proportions of visits accounted for by disease of the middle ear were similar in both settings.
Teele DW, Klein JO, Rosner B, Bratton L, Fisch GR, Mathieu OR, Porter PJ, Starobin SG, Tarlin LD, Younes RP. Middle Ear Disease and the Practice of PediatricsBurden During the First Five Years of Life. JAMA. 1983;249(8):1026-1029. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330320024025