Otitis media: A problem for the physical anthropologist

Authors

  • Hal J. Daniel III,

    1. Department of Speech, Language and Auditory Pathology, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina 27858
    2. Department Anthropology, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina 27858
    3. Department of Biology, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina 27858
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  • Raymond T. Schmidt,

    1. MIT Libraries, Data Base Maintenance, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
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  • Robert S. Fulghum,

    1. Departments Microbiology and Immunology, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina 27858
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  • Linda Ruckriegal

    1. Department of Speech, Language and Auditory Pathology, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina 27858
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Abstract

Otitis media, common in children, can result in middle ear structure alteration and hearing loss, and, hence, in language development deficiency. Physical anthropologists are qualified to do innovative research into the causes of this costly disease, which have not yet been delineated. The prevalence of otitis media appears related to age, sex, ethnicity, and environment. Investigation is warranted in areas such as the measurement of variability in eustachian tube, middle ear cleft, and mastoid process anatomy and physiology; the epidemiology and genetic mechanism of otitis media; and the microbiology and immunology as well as pathological studies of cranial variation as it relates to otitis media.

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