Objective. - This study tested the hypothesis that children with early persistent middle ear effusion (MEE) are at risk for later language deficit. Method. - We recruited 698 newborns and monitored them for MEE every 2 to 4 weeks at home until age 3 years. Language skills were assessed on 294 subjects at age 5, while controlling for 8 demographic and environmental factors. Language outcomes at age 5 years were studied as a function of duration of bilateral MEE from birth to age 3 years. Results. - A significant relation was found between duration of bilateral MEE and speech sound sensitivity (Carrow Elicited Language Inventory) and articulation (Goldman-Fristoe Articulation). Children's ability to discriminate speech sounds in a quiet environment (Carrow Auditory Visual Abilities Test) was less affected by early prolonged MEE in homes that provided more cognitive stimulation. Conclusions. - These exploratory results indicate that prolonged early MEE may predispose children to language deficits at age 5 years. The language deficits are of small magnitude and may or may not be clinically significant. Language stimulation at home may protect against some of the effects of prolonged MEE.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2001|
- Middle ear effusion
- Otitis media
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health