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Middle ear disease was associated with some behaviour problems at 5 and 10 years of age

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Question In young children, is middle ear disease associated with subsequent behaviour and cognitive problems? Middle ear disease was defined in 2 ways: parental reports of purulent (non-wax) ear discharge and suspected hearing loss.


Cohort study with 10 years of follow up.


United Kingdom.


The original study included >13 000 children born in the UK during the week of 5–11 April 1970. Children were assessed at birth and at 5, 10, 16, and 21 years of age. Approximately 9000 children were available for follow up at 10 years. Parental reports at 5 and 10 years indicated that 11.5% of the children had had ear discharge …

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  • Source of funding: in part, the Hearing Research Trust.

  • For correspondence: Dr K E Bennett, MRC Institute of Hearing Research, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK. Fax +44 (0)1559 518503.