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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Smoking causes ear infection in kids

A new report from Perth's Telethon Institute for Child Health Research has found a strong link between childhood ear infections and exposure to tobacco smoke.

The families of 100 Aboriginal children and 180 non-Aboriginal children participated in the Kalgoorlie Otitis Media Research Project, allowing the collection of social, demographic, environmental and biological data to investigate the causes of otitis media (middle ear infections). The children had regular ear examinations from birth until 2 years of age.

Chief Investigator Dr Deborah Lehmann, who heads the Institute's infectious diseases research, said ear infections were the most common reason that young children see a doctor and can cause life-long problems.

"Up to 20 per cent of children have more than three ear infections between 1 and 2 years of age. If their hearing is damaged, it can seriously affect their educational outcomes and social circumstances in adulthood," Dr Lehmann said. Read full article here...

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