Ambulatory Visits for Otitis Media before and after the Introduction of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination

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Abstract

Objective

To examine the long-term trend of otitis media (OM)-associated ambulatory visits from 1997 to 2014 and to evaluate the impact of 7-valent and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV7 and PCV13) on OM ambulatory visits.

Study design

We examined OM-associated ambulatory visits in children, using the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.

Results

A total of 24 148 OM-related visits were identified from 363 240 ambulatory visits. OM visits accounted for 9.5% of all ambulatory visits in 1997-1999, 7.1% in 2002-2009, and 5.5% in 2012-2014. Between the pre-PCV7 and the post-PCV13 period, annual physician's office visits for OM declined from 826 to 387 visits per 1000 children among children younger than 2 years of age. Compared with the pre-PCV7 period, office visit rates for OM significantly declined by 51% (95% CI 42%-58%) among children younger than 2 years of age and by 37% (95% CI 23%-48%) among children 2-4 years of age during the post-PCV13 period. Among children younger than 2 years of age, emergency department visits for OM declined by 47% (95% CI 36%-55%) during the post-PCV13 period, and hospital outpatient visits declined by 30% (95% CI 8%-48%) during the PCV13-transition period. OM-related visits declined across sex, race/ethnicity, health insurance status, and geographic region.

Conclusion

Our nationwide study shows that ambulatory visits for OM have declined following the introduction of PCV7 and PCV13. Future research on the evolving microbiology of OM and continued monitoring of the epidemiology of pneumococcal disease are needed.

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