Conclusions: External ear canal exostosis is more prevalent in northern coastal groups than in the highlands, suggesting that ocean activities facilitate the appearance of exostosis. However, southern coastal groups exposed to colder ocean water have a lesser incidence of exostosis, possibly due to less duration of exposure. There was a high incidence of otitis media in all groups of native population in Chile. One coastal group had a higher incidence, presumably due to racial factors. Background: This is a paleopathological and paleoepidemiological study in temporal bones which assesses external ear canal exostosis and otitis media in prehistoric and historic native populations in Chile. Materials and methods: A total of 460 temporal bones were evaluated for exostosis (ex) and 542 temporal bones were evaluated for otitis media (om). The study involved four groups: (1) Prehistoric Coastal (400–1000 AD) populations in Northern Chile (Pisagua-Tiwanaku) (22 temporal bones ex; 28 om); (2) Prehistoric Highland (400–1000 AD) populations in Northern Chile (292 temporal bones ex; 334 om); (3) Pisagua-Regional Developments (coastal) in Northern Chile (1000–1450 AD) (66 temporal bones ex; 82 om); and (4) Historic (1500–1800 AD) coastal populations in Southern Chile (80 temporal bones ex: 18 Chonos, 62 Fuegians. 98 om: 22 Chonos, 76 Fuegians). Skulls were evaluated visually and with an operating microscope. In addition, the otitis media group was evaluated with Temporal bone radiology–-lateral XRays-Schuller view–to assess pneumatization as evidence of previous middle ear disease. Results: Prehistoric northern coastal groups had an incidence of exostosis of 15.91%, the northern highlands group 1.37%, and the southern coastal group 1.25%. There were changes suggestive of otitis media in: Pisagua/Tiwanaku 53.57%; Pisagua/Regional Developments 70.73%; Northern Highlands population 47.90%; Chonos 63.64%; and Fuegian tribes 64.47%.
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© 2016 Acta Oto-Laryngologica AB (Ltd).
- otitis media
- otitis media racial factors
- pronicity factors