Conclusion Cholesteatoma in childhood had no long-term effect on school performance for the majority who completed lower secondary school. Aim To investigate whether individuals operated on for cholesteatoma in childhood have impaired school performance in adolescence. Methods All children born in Denmark between 1986-1991 with cholesteatoma surgery performed before the age of 15 years were included (cholestetaoma group). A control group consisting of a 5% random sample of all children born in Denmark during the same period was used for comparison. Final marks (average, mathematics, Danish, and English) achieved upon completion of lower secondary school (9th grade; age 15 or 16 years) were compared between groups. Results A total of 549 individuals met the inclusion criteria for the cholesteatoma group and 15 106 for the control group. High parental education and female sex were strongly associated with high 9th grade marks. The cholesteatoma group did equally as well as the control group in all outcome-measures except from in English (1st foreign language), where children with ≥2 cholesteatoma surgeries scored 0.26 marks lower (95% confidence interval = 0.03-0.48). In the cholesteatoma group, though, the odds ratio for not attaining a 9th grade exam was 1.33 (95% confidence interval = 1.03-1.72%) when compared with the control group.
Keywords: Academic achievement; cholesteatoma; education; middle ear; school performance.