The following article features coverage from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting. Click here to read more of MPR‘s conference coverage.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) was found to be associated with an increased incidence of chronic otitis media with effusion (OME), according to findings presented at the AAO-HNSF 2021 Annual Meeting.

To evaluate the risk of developing OME in individuals with GERD, researchers conducted a retrospective, propensity score-matched cohort study using data from the Korea National Health Insurance Service. The GERD group consisted of 3532 individuals who had been diagnosed with GERD between January 2002 and December 2005. The control group included 14,128 individuals who were chosen using propensity score matching based on sociodemographic factors and year of enrollment. 

A total of 17,660 individuals were included in the study population; of these, 53.2% were male. Each patient was monitored until 2013. The incidence, survival rate, and hazard ratio (HR) of chronic OME was calculated using survival analysis, the log-rank test, and Cox proportional hazard regression models.

During the 11-year follow-up, results showed that overall incidence of chronic OME was significantly higher in the GERD group compared with the control group (3.0 vs 1.8 per 1000 person-years; adjusted HR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.46-2.32). Increasing age was also significantly associated with chronic OME development (50-59 year old group: HR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.09-2.45; 60-69 year old group: HR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.02-2.36).

Patients with allergic rhinitis (adjusted HR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.37-2.10), asthma (adjusted HR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.02-1.64), and chronic rhinosinusitis (adjusted HR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.26-2.05) were also more likely to develop chronic OME vs those without these conditions. 


Yeo CD, Lee EJ. Association of GERD with increased risk of chronic OME. Presented at: AAO-HNSF 2021 Annual Meeting; October 3-6, 2021; Los Angeles, CA.