The effect of indoor air pollutants on otitis media and asthma in children

Laryngoscope. 1991 Mar;101(3):293-6. doi: 10.1288/00005537-199103000-00013.


This case-control study investigated the possible association between home environmental air pollutants and their effect on otitis media and asthma in children. Patients with physician-diagnosed otitis (n = 125, 74% response), with asthma (n = 137, 80% response), and controls (n = 237, 72% response) from a private pediatric practice seen between October 1986 and May 1987 were studied. A questionnaire inquired about housing characteristics (i.e., age, insulation, heating system) and sources of indoor air pollution such as cigarette smoking, use of woodburning stoves, household pets, etc. Analysis of the responses confirmed previous findings of significant relationships between maternal smoking (P = .021), and the presence of pets (P = .034) and the occurrence of asthma. A newly reported relationship between exposure to woodburning stoves and the occurrence of otitis (P less than .05) was reported. This implicates yet another risk factor (wood burning) in the etiology of otitis media.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Otitis Media / etiology*
  • Risk Factors


  • Air Pollutants