Objective: This study tested the hypothesis that children with early persistent middle ear effusion (MEE) are at risk for later deficits in academic performance. Methods: We recruited 698 newborns and monitored them for MEE every 2 to 4 weeks at home until age 3 years. At age 7 years, it was possible to obtain school data for 226 children. Tests included the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills or the Stanford Achievement tests, the Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests, and the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement. Results: There was no significant relationship between early MEE and measures of school achievement as shown by correlations or multiple regression. Differences between extreme MEE groups were not significant. School achievement was strongly associated with ethnicity, home environment, and socioeconomic status. Conclusions: Early persistent MEE does not appear to affect achievement in school at age 7 years.
- middle ear effusion
- otitis media
- school achievement
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health