Prevalence of Clinically Diagnosed Acute Otitis Media (AOM) in the Philippines: a National Survey with a Developing Country’s Perspective

Ruzanne M. Caro,1 Erasmo Gonzalo DV. Llanes,1 Rosario R. Ricalde1 and Jesus N. Sarol Jr.2

1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, College of Medicine and
Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila
2National Teacher Training Center for the Health Professions,
University of the Philippines Manila

Background and Aims. Acute otitis media (AOM) seems to be a significant public health problem, but national data on its prevalence is lacking. This study aims to determine the prevalence of acute otitis media in the Philippines and characterize this population.

Methods. A cross-sectional survey of children 0-12 years old in community health centers and schools was performed, utilizing a multi-stage cluster sampling design.

Results. Thirteen areas were included in the survey with 26 household and school clusters, surveying a total of 2,277 children. There were 218 children with clinically diagnosed acute otitis media, with an overall prevalence rate of 9.6%. Among the children with AOM, 108 (10%) were male while 110 (9.2%) were female. There were 32 (14.6%) cases of AOM in the 0-2 year olds, 56 (9.5%) in the 3-6 year olds, and 117 (8.4%) in the 7-12 year old children.

Conclusions. The overall prevalence of clinically diagnosed acute otitis media in the Philippines is 9.6%, with a variables area-specific prevalence. There is no gender predilection, with the 0-2 age group having the most prevalent cases of AOM in the sample.

Key Words: acute otitis media, otitis media, middle ear inflammation