Ear infections may increase a child's risk for asthma, according to the results of a study reported in Chest. The researchers looked at federal government health data collected between 1988 and 1994 on >7500 children aged 2 to 11 years old. The findings showed that children with any history of ear infection were at a 57% higher risk for asthma and at a 70% elevated risk of nonasthmatic wheezing. Increasing incidence of ear infection was associated with a continual rise in overall asthma risk.
Researcher Kamal Eldeirawi, MS, pointed out, however, that the findings are preliminary, and "long-term, follow-up studies" are required before recommendations can be made. "Hopefully [my findings] will open up this avenue of research so people will start looking at it," he added.