Socioeconomic disparities in the presentation of acute bacterial sinusitis complications in children

Ahmad R. Sedaghat, Claus O. Wilke, Michael J. Cunningham, Stacey L. Ishman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis To identify characteristics and disparities associated with presentation of pediatric acute bacterial sinusitis (ABS) complications. Study Design A cross-sectional study of the 2008 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample database. Methods A total of 101,660 children 18 years of age or younger diagnosed with ABS, 696 of whom had orbital or intracranial complications, were identified. Patient and hospital-specific characteristics were investigated for association with childhood ABS complications. Results Orbital and intracranial complications occurred in 0.7% of children with ABS. Such complications were more common in boys (odds ratio [OR]: 1.65, P<.001) and children with chronic rhinosinusitis (OR: 7.89, P<.001), and were associated with presentation to metropolitan teaching (OR: 2.15, P<.001) and nonteaching (OR: 14.39, P<.001) hospitals. Orbital complications were associated with younger age (OR: 0.96, P<.001), whereas intracranial complications were associated with older age (OR: 1.11, P<.001). A dichotomy in socioeconomic background differentiated children with orbital ABS complications from those with intracranial complications. Although orbital complications were associated with higher income (OR: 2.13, P<.001) and private insurance (OR: 1.36, P=.003), intracranial complications were associated with Medicaid (OR: 2.96, P<.001) or no insurance at all (OR: 3.73, P=.001). Conclusions Socioeconomic disparities exist in presentation of ABS complications in children. Although hinted at by the association with urban/metropolitan hospitals, explicit evidence is provided by association of intracranial complications with markers of low socioeconomic status and poor access to healthcare. Efforts to aid early diagnosis and treatment should target providers in metropolitan areas who treat children of lower socioeconomic status. Such interventions will ideally improve outcomes and limit healthcare costs related to the high morbidity of pediatric ABS complications. Level of Evidence 2b Laryngoscope, 124:1700-1706, 2014

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1700-1706
Number of pages7
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Sinusitis
  • brain abscess
  • healthcare disparities
  • orbital cellulitis
  • pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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