Age: An effect modifier of the association between allergic rhinitis and Otitis media with effusion

Rachel E. Roditi, Maria Veling, Jennifer J. Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: 1) To determine whether there is a significant relationship between allergic rhinitis and otitis media with effusion (OME), Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD), or tympanic membrane retraction (TMR) in children in a nationally representative population; and 2) to determine whether age is an effect modifier of any such association because this hypothesis has yet to be tested. Study Design: Retrospective analysis of cross-sectional national databases with limited potential for referral bias. Setting and Subjects: National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, 2005–2010. Methods: Univariate, multivariate, stratified, and subgroup analyses were performed as defined a priori. The primary outcomes were OME, ETD, or TMR; the primary predictor variable was allergic rhinitis, with age evaluated as an effect modifier. Results: Data representing 1,491,045,375 pediatric visits were examined and demonstrated that age was an effect modifier of the assessed association. More specifically, in children 6 years of age or older, the presence of allergic rhinitis significantly increased the odds of OME, ETD, or TMR (odds ratio [OR] 4.20; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.17, 8.09; P < 0.001), whereas in children less than 6 years of age there was no significant association (OR 1.13; 95% CI 0.53, 2.46; P = 0.745). Conclusion: Age is an effect modifier of the association between allergic rhinitis and OME; a significant relationship is observed in children 6 years of age and older, whereas there is no significant association in younger children. Level of Evidence: 2c. Laryngoscope, 126:1687–1692, 2016.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1687-1692
Number of pages6
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • age
  • allergic rhinitis
  • effect modifier
  • eustachian tube dysfunction
  • national database
  • Otitis media with effusion
  • tympanic membrane retraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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