Estimated Burden of Acute Otitis Externa—United States, 2003-2007

Acute otitis externa (AOE) (swimmer’s ear) is inflammation of the external auditory canal most often caused by bacterial infection. AOE is characterized by pain, tenderness, redness, and swelling of the external ear canal, and occasionally, purulent exudate. AOE is associated with water exposure (e.g., recreational water activities, bathing, and excessive sweating) and warm, humid environments. 1-5 Because the overall burden and epidemiology of AOE in the United States have not been well described, data from national ambulatory-care and emergency department (ED) databases were analyzed to characterize the incidence, demographics, and seasonality of AOE and associated health-care costs. The analysis showed that in 2007, an estimated 2.4 million U.S. health-care visits (8.1 visits per 1,000 population) resulted in a diagnosis of AOE. Estimated annual rates of ambulatory-care visits for AOE during 2003-2007 were highest among children aged 5-9 years (18.6) and 10-14 years (15.8); however, 53% …

from JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association

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Posted on July 6, 2011, in Research. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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