The Association Between ENT Diseases and Obesity in Pediatric Population: A Systemic Review of Current Knowledge
Obesity in pediatric population is an important global problem. The prevalence of obesity in children is dramatically rising. According to World Health Organization, about 41 million children under the age of 5 years are obese or overweight worldwide. Overweight and obesity are well-known risk factors for a number of health disorders. Diseases commonly observed in this group of patients are metabolic disorders, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, fatty liver disease, musculoskeletal problems, and many others. The main aim of this study was to present the current knowledge of the association between childhood obesity and common otorhinolaryngological disorders. It is suggested that obese children are more prone to suffer from otorhinolaryngological illnesses than the lean ones. Obesity may predispose to otorhinolaryngological diseases in various ways. It strongly interferes with the immune system (increases serum levels of interleukin 6, tumor necrosis factor, C-reactive protein, and leptin and reduces adiponectin concentration) affecting organs of the upper respiratory tract. Additionally, obesity induces mechanical disorders in the upper airways. According to our review, obesity predisposes to otitis media with effusion, acute otitis media, recurrent otitis media, obstructive sleep apnea, sensorineural hearing loss, adenotonsillar hypertrophy, and post-/perioperative complications after adenotonsillectomy. Obesity in children significantly correlates with both obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and asthma and constitutes a significant component of "OSA, obesity, asthma" triad.