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OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to explore diet patterns in children with tympanostomy tube placement (TTP) complicated by postoperative tympanostomy tube otorrhea.
STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey and retrospective cohort study.
METHODS: Caregivers of children (0-12 years old), at a tertiary-care pediatric hospital who underwent TTP within 6 months to 2 years prior to enrollment were included. Children with a history of Down syndrome, cleft palate, craniofacial syndromes, known immunodeficiency, or a non-English-speaking family were excluded. Our primary outcome variable was the number of otorrhea episodes. The primary predictor was diet patterns, particularly dessert intake, which was captured through a short food questionnaire.
RESULTS: A total of 286 participants were included in this study. The median age was 1.8 years (IQR, 1.3, 2.9). A total of 174 (61%) participants reported at least one episode of otorrhea. Children who consumed dessert at least two times per week had a higher risk of otorrhea compared to children who consumed one time per week or less (odds ratio [OR], 3.22, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 1.69, 6.12). The odds ratio increase continued when considering more stringent criteria for otorrhea (multiple episodes or one episode occurring 4 weeks after surgery), with a 2.33 (95% CI: 1.24, 4.39) higher odds of otorrhea in children with dessert intake at least 2 times per week.
CONCLUSIONS: Our pilot data suggest that episodes of otorrhea among children with TTP were associated with more frequent dessert intake. Future studies using prospectively administered diet questionnaires are necessary to confirm these findings.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 4 Laryngoscope, 2023.