Recurrent respiratory tract infections or acute otitis media were not a risk factor for vocabulary development in children at 13 and 24 months of age

Annette Nylund, Laura Toivonen, Pirjo Korpilahti, Anne Kaljonen, Ville Peltola, Pirkko Rautakoski

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ABSTRACTAim: This study examined associations between recurrent respiratory tract infections (RTI)and acute otitis media (AOM) during the first one and two years of life and vocabulary sizeat 13 and 24 months of age.Methods: We studied 646 children born between January 2008 and April 2010 andfollowed up from birth to two years of age with daily diary and study clinic visits during RTIsand AOM. The families were recruited from maternity health care clinics or delivery wards insouth-west Finland. Parents completed the MacArthur Communicative DevelopmentInventory at 13 and 24 months, and the vocabularies of children with high rates of RTIs orAOM were compared to children without recurrent issues.Results: Of the 646 children, 9.6% had recurrent RTIs and 9.9% had recurrent AOM from0 to 24 months. Children with high rates of RTIs or AOM did not have smaller vocabulariesthan children without recurrent RTIs or AOM. Girls had larger vocabularies and higherparental socioeconomic status was associated with a larger expressive vocabulary at24 months.Conclusion: The child’s gender and parental socioeconomic status played a more criticalrole in vocabulary development in the first two years than a high burden of RTIs or AOM.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)288–294
JournalActa Paediatrica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Respiratory tract infection
  • Acute otitis media
  • Socioeconomic status
  • MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory
  • Vocabulary size

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