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Research Letter
June 4, 2020

Prevalence and Population Estimates of Obstructive Eustachian Tube Dysfunction in US Adolescents

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 3Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 4Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 5Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online June 4, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2020.0962

Obstructive eustachian tube dysfunction (OETD) affects over 11 million adults in the US, and is associated with chronic suppurative otitis media, middle ear atelectasis, and tympanic membrane perforation.1,2 Compared with adults, children have a higher risk for obstruction and reflux of nasopharyngeal secretions and pathogens, resulting in increased rates of cholesteatoma reoccurrence and poorer hearing results after surgery.2 Though OETD is thought of as more common among children than adults, there are no population estimates of OETD in US adolescents. To further understand the burden of OETD over the life course, a nationally representative cross-sectional sample was combined with census data to approximate population estimates of OETD among US adolescents.

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