American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children have experienced higher otitis media (OM) outpatient visit rates than other US children. To understand recent trends, we evaluated AI/AN OM rates before and after 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine introduction.Methods:
We analyzed outpatient visits listing OM as a diagnosis among AI/AN children <5 years of age from the Indian Health Service National Patient Information Reporting System for 2010–2013. OM outpatient visits for the general US child population <5 years of age were analyzed using the National Ambulatory Medical Care and National Hospital Ambulatory Care Surveys for 2010–2011.Results:
The 2010–2011 OM-associated outpatient visit rate for AI/AN children (63.5 per 100/year) was similar to 2010–2011 rate for same-age children in the general US population (62.8) and decreased from the 2003 to 2005 AI/AN rate (91.4). Further decline in AI/AN OM visit rates was seen for 2010–2011 to 2012–2013 (P < 0.0001). The AI/AN infant OM visit rate (130.5) was 1.6-fold higher than the US infant population. For 2010–2011, the highest AI/AN OM visit rate for <5 year olds was from Alaska (135.0).Conclusions:
AI/AN <5-year-old OM visits declined by one third from 2003–2005 to 2010–2011 to a rate similar to the US general population <5 years. However, the AI/AN infant OM rate remained higher than the US infant population. The highest AI/AN <5-year-old OM rate occurred in Alaska.