Ear Infection More Common Among Lower Income Families

US researchers found that white poor kids are more prone to ear infection than those children who happen to grow up in a fortunate family. Otitis media or commonly known as ear infection is a common health problem found in children by age 3. In United States, treating kids with ear infection reaches up to $3 billion to $5 billion per year. A study from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Harvard University Researchers found that approximately 4.65 million US children encounter ear infection yearly. The US National Health Interview Survey released an analyzed report from year 1997-2006 which shows that ear infection affects 7% of white children, 6.2% Hispanic, 5% black, 4.5% for racial and ethnic group of children. The study shows that ear infections hit 8% in children under poor families, compare to children under wealthy families. Dr. Nina Shapiro, director of pediatric otolaryngology at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA told it was surprising in terms of racial and ethnic differences. DR. Shapiro points out that it could be cultural factors, and different access to health care services. For instance, white children could be over diagnosed while non-white children are under diagnosed.

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