Recurrent Ear Infections among American Indians and Alaska Native Children: Evidence from a National Sample

Ginger L. Gossman, Texas Department of State Health Services
Parker Frisbie, University of Texas at Austin

Objective: To identify patterns and risk factors for recurrent ear infections (3+) for AI/AN children compared to other racial-ethnic groups. Methods: National Health Interview Survey 1997-2003 (N=67,576) child sample, adult sample, person, and family files were used. Variables used to predict recurrent ear infections (REI) were categorized as child, socioeconomic, and environmental factors (parental health/behaviors). A multivariate logistic regression model was used to predict REI. Results: A greater proportion of AI/AN children experienced REI compared to other groups. Aside from age, the child characteristic that presented the greatest risk for REI was asthma (OR 1.74). The socioeconomic factors that significantly presented risk were having only one parent in the home and having government or no insurance. The robust parental health factors were current drinking, current smoking, obesity, self-rated health (fair or poor), and asthma. Conclusions: AI/AN children carry the greatest burden for REI across racial-ethnic groups.

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Presented in Poster Session 1