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Impact of Habitual Yogurt Intake in Mother–Child Dyads on Incidence of Childhood Otitis Media: The Japan Environment and Children’s Study (JECS)

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Abstract

Otitis media, one of the most common childhood diseases, is characterized by inflammation or infection of the middle ear. Due to their ease of access, daily probiotics are recommended for the prevention of early childhood otitis media. This study aimed to assess the impact of probiotics on the incidence of otitis media using a dataset (n = 95,380) from the Japan Environment and Children’s Study, a nationwide birth cohort study. After multiple imputations, the association between the incidence of otitis media in early childhood and the daily frequency of yogurt intake in children and mothers was examined using a generalized linear model after adjusting for several confounders. Repeated incidence of otitis media during the 2 years after birth was found in 14,874 participants (15.6%). Based on participants with the lowest frequency of yogurt intake (“almost never”) as the reference group, risk ratios for otitis media incidence decreased with higher frequencies of yogurt intake in children at one year of age, but also independently in mothers during pregnancy. The lowest risk ratio (95% confidence interval) for otitis media incidence at six months of age was observed with the most frequent yogurt intake (once/day or more) (0.54 [0.46–0.63]). Additionally, although a similar association was observed in the subgroup of those with cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P), a high-risk group for severe recurrent otitis media, no statistical significance was observed. Thus, increased regular yogurt intake in both children and mothers was associated with a decrease of otitis media during early childhood.

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Data Availability

Data are unsuitable for public deposition owing to ethical restrictions and the legal framework of Japan. It is prohibited by the Act on the Protection of Personal Information (Act No. 57 of 30 May 2003, amendment on 9 September 2015) to publicly deposit the data containing personal information. Ethical Guidelines for Medical and Health Research Involving Human Subjects enforced by the Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare also restrict the open sharing of the epidemiologic data. All inquiries about access to data should be sent to: jecs-en@nies.go.jp. The person responsible for handling inquiries sent to this e-mail address is Dr. Shoji F. Nakayama, JECS Programme Office, National Institute for Environmental Studies.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to express our gratitude to all of the JECS study participants and to the JECS staff members for conducting the procedure and helping with the data analysis

Appendix

Members of the JECS Group as of 2021: Michihiro Kamijima (principal investigator, Nagoya City University, Nagoya, Japan), Shin Yamazaki (National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan), Yukihiro Ohya (National Center for Child Health and Development, Tokyo, Japan), Reiko Kishi (Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan), Koichi Hashimoto (Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima, Japan), Chisato Mori (Chiba University, Chiba, Japan), Shuichi Ito (Yokohama City University, Yokohama, Japan), Zentaro Yamagata (University of Yamanashi, Chuo, Japan), Hidekuni Inadera (University of Toyama, Toyama, Japan), Takeo Nakayama (Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan), Tomotaka Sobue (Osaka University, Suita, Japan), Masayuki Shima (Hyogo Medical University, Nishinomiya, Japan), Hiroshige Nakamura (Tottori University, Yonago, Japan), Narufumi Suganuma (Kochi University, Nankoku, Japan), Koichi Kusuhara (University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Kitakyushu, Japan), and Takahiko Katoh (Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan).

Funding

The Japan Environment and Children’s Study was funded by the Ministry of the Environment, Japan. The findings and conclusions of this article are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not represent the official views of the above governmental agency.

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Contributions

Conceptualization: Masahiro Tsuchiya, Haruki Momma, Ryoukichi Ikeda, Jun Suzuki. Methodology: Masahiro Tsuchiya, Haruki Momma, Shinobu Tsuchiya. Formal analysis: Masahiro Tsuchiya, Haruki Momma. Writing—original draft preparation: Masahiro Tsuchiya, Kaoru Igarashi. Writing—review and editing: Shinobu Tsuchiya, Ryoukichi Ikeda, Jun Suzuki. Resources: Ryoichi Nagatomi, Takahiro Arima, Nobuo Yaegashi, Kaoru Igarashi, The Japan Environment and Children’s Study Group.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Masahiro Tsuchiya.

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Ethics Approval and Consent to Participate

This study was conducted in accordance with the World Medical Association's Helsinki Declaration. The JECS protocol has been published elsewhere and was approved by the Ministry of the Environment’s Institutional Review Board on Epidemiological Studies (No. 100 406 001) and the Ethics Committees of all participating institutions. Written informed consent was obtained from all participants. The present study was conducted as a part of the JECS and used anonymized data; hence, additional approvals from the ethics committees were not required.

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Tsuchiya, M., Tsuchiya, S., Momma, H. et al. Impact of Habitual Yogurt Intake in Mother–Child Dyads on Incidence of Childhood Otitis Media: The Japan Environment and Children’s Study (JECS). Probiotics & Antimicro. Prot. (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12602-023-10086-2

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