UCLA LogoEar infections are claimed to be one of the most common illnesses to hit children. A study from UCLA and Women’s Hospital in Boston appears to propose that better air quality over the past decade could have led to lesser cases of ear infections among children.

The study authors analyzed National Health Interview Survey data of roughly 1,20,060 children between the years of 1997 and 2006. They supposedly gauged the amount of cases of three disease conditions for each year namely recurrent ear infections i.e. around three or more in a year, respiratory allergy and seizure activity, which is apparently not affected by air quality but was integrated as a control condition.

Study co-author Dr. Nina Shapiro, director of pediatric otolaryngology at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA and an associate professor of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, commented, “We believe these findings, which demonstrate a direct correlation between air quality and ear infections, have both medical and political significance. The results validate the benefits of the revised Clean Air Act of 1990, which gave the Environmental Protection Agency more authority to implement and enforce regulations reducing air-pollutant emissions. It also shows that the improvements may have direct benefit on health-quality measures.”

These numbers were then apparently cross-referenced with the EPA’s air-quality details on pollutants, as well as carbon monoxide, nitrous dioxide, sulfur dioxide and certain substances, for the same duration. The experts supposedly found that as air quality progressively turned better, the amount of instances of recurrent ear infections considerably reduced.

The outcomes also appeared to display that there was no relationship between enhanced air quality and better rates of pediatric respiratory allergy, perhaps owing to the fact that allergens are not pollutants.

The study will be published in Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.