Tympanometry of a diverse group of preschool aged children

Abby C. Meyer, Kathryn J. Webb, Cynthia S. Davey, Kathleen A. Daly

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1 Scopus citations


Objective: Ethnicity has been previously described as a risk factor for middle ear disease. Little data exist on the presence of middle ear disease based on tympanometry screening comparing Asian children and children of other races. Methods: Two hundred and seventy children aged 3-5 were screened with tympanometry at six Head Start sites in St. Paul, Minnesota during the months of September and October of 2004. Gender, age, and race/ethnicity was recorded and entered into a database, along with values for canal volume, static admittance, peak pressure, and tympanometric width. Results: Criteria for abnormal tympanometry were based on American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) recommendations for a failed tympanogram for 1-5 year olds (admittance <0.3 mmho or width >200 daPa). There were no statistically significant differences in failure rates between males and females. There were, however, more failures for Asian (predominantly Hmong) children compared to children of other races/ethnicities after adjusting for age and gender differences (OR = 6.39, CI 3.65-11.2, p < 0.001) and for children <4-years-old compared to children 4-5-years-old after adjusting for race and gender differences (OR = 1.99, CI 1.03-3.84, p < 0.05). Conclusions: Asian children were more than six times as likely to fail tympanometry as children of other races/ethnicities. The explanation for this difference is likely to be multifactorial, and further research is needed to characterize this difference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1523-1527
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Hmong
  • Otitis media
  • Tympanometry


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