Household wood and charcoal smoke increases risk of otitis media in childhood in Maputo

João Leopoldo da Costa, Albert Navarro, José Branco Neves, Miguel Martin

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Background. This study examined the association of otitis media in children <6 years old and the exposure to wood and charcoal smoke, as well as to other risk factors, in Maputo. Methods. Case-control study. In all 750 children matched by sex and age were enrolled in a hospital-community study. Cases were gathered from among children visiting the Central Hospital of Maputo with otitis media and controls were recruited in the same village as the cases. Conditional logistic regression was performed to evaluate, simultaneously, the effect of each risk factor. Results. Cases were more likely to have been exposed to tobacco smoke (OR = 1.51), to wood (OR = 1.85) and charcoal (OR = 1.50) household smoke, to short term breastfeeding (OR = 1.47), and to live in overcrowded conditions (OR = 1.49). Multivariate analysis stratified by age groups (younger and older than 2 years) showed that cases were more likely to be exposed to wood and charcoal smoke than controls, regardless of age. Among children aged >2 years, Eustachian tube dysfunction was evident (OR = 3.06) particularly in those living in less over-crowded conditions. Conclusions. Findings of this study are consistent with earlier studies that have reported an association between parental smoking, short duration of breastfeeding, and Eustachian tube dysfunction. The association with wood and charcoal smoke indicates that there is a need to educate people regarding the avoidance of exposing their children to this environmental hazard. © International Epidemiological Association 2004; all rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-578
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2004


  • Breastfeeding
  • Case-control studies
  • Eustachian tube
  • Otitis media
  • Overcrowding
  • Tobacco smoke pollution
  • Wood smoke pollution


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