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Tonsillectomy reduces risk of strep throat

among the children who had not.

Researchers used the Rochester Epidemiology Project to identify children for the study, which was limited to children who resided in Olmsted County, Minn., between Jan. 1, 1994, and Dec. 31, 1998. The Rochester Epidemiology Project has developed an index for the records of virtually all providers of medical care in Olmsted County. Olmsted County is served by a largely unified medical care system, including Mayo Clinic, that has accumulated comprehensive clinical records since the early 1900s.

"The use of the Rochester Epidemiology Project resource was unquestionably one of the strengths of the study," says Dr. Orvidas. "This resource allowed us to access complete medical records on a geographically defined pediatric population and minimized potential referral and participation biases."

The next step of the research phase, according to Dr. Orvidas, would be a prospective randomized trial investigating the use of tonsillectomy for recurrent strep throat infections. Such an investigation could judge outcomes based on the number of subsequent infections and on quality of life issues, she says.

Pharyngitis and tonsillitis are among the most commonly diagnosed pediatric illnesses, accounting for approximately 18 million physician office visits per year. Strep infections are responsible for 15 percent to 30 percent of all cases of pharyngitis. In addition, 20 percent to 30 percent of children who are diagnosed with strep pharyngeal infection may experience a second infection within 60 days of the initial episode.

Source-Eurekalert
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