Socio-Demographic Factors Associated with Otitis Media Among Children in Enugu, South-East Nigeria

Author(s): Ilechukwu GC, Ilechukwu CGA, Ubesie AC*, Ezeanolue B, Okoroafor IJ, Emechebe GO and Ojinnaka NC

Background: The discharging middle ear is a source of global concern. There is every need to investigate and report on the socio-demographic factors of this illness especially in Nigerian children. Aim: To determine the Socio-demographic factors associated with otitis media among children in Enugu, South-east Nigeria. Subjects and Methods: This study was a cross-sectional in design and done at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu. All consecutive children aged 0 and 17 years presenting during the months of June and August 2006 with middle ear discharge were included in the study. Informed consent was obtained from parents or guardians of the children. Assent was obtained from older subjects. Children who had discharge of the middle ear were consecutively recruited into this study. Auroscopy was carried out on all of them to ascertain middle ear pathology. A structured questionnaire designed for this study was used to record information on subjects’ biodata. Data was analysed using SPSS version 11.0 and PEPI version 4.0 statistical software. Results: One hundred children aged 0 to 17 years were included in this study. There were 53 males (53%) and 47 females (47%) with a male: female ratio of 1.13:1. Twenty- five (25.0%) of the 100 subjects were from the upper socio-economic class, whereas 24/100 (24.0%) and 51/100 (51.0%) subjects were from the middle and lower socio-economic class respectively. A significant interaction was found when a chi-square test of independence was calculated between social class and type of otitis media (χ2 = 8.78; P = 0.01), hence chronic otitis media was more common than acute otitis media in children from the lower socio-economic class when compared with the upper and middle classes. Conclusion: Discharging otitis media was commoner among the under 5’s population. Chronic discharging otitis media tended to affect more the children from the lower social class.


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