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January 1965

Draining Ears and Deafness Among Alaskan Eskimos

Author Affiliations

Arctic Health Research Center, United States Public Health Service, Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1965;81(1):29-33. doi:10.1001/archotol.1965.00750050034009

Middle ear pathology in Alaska is a problem of considerable magnitude. Various studies1-3 reported hearing loss in 14% of Caucasians and 34% of Eskimos and evidence of chronic otitis media in about one third of Alaskan natives. An infant morbidity and mortality study conducted by the Arctic Health Research Center in Eskimo villages revealed that of 323 infants, 38% had at least one episode of draining ears during their first year of life.4

To combat acute and chronic otitis media, routine medical and surgical treatment is dispensed within the limits of available personnel, and an aggressive tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy campaign is in progress.5 The present study was undertaken to investigate the natural history and epidemiology of ear disease and also the relationship between hearing loss and otitis media.

Material and Methods  The major portion of the study was conducted in the Bethel area in southwestern Alaska among

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