Laryngomalacia: The role of gender and ethnicity

Natalie E. Edmondson, John P. Bent, Christine Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Introduction: The vast majority of infants in published studies regarding laryngomalacia are Caucasian. These studies suggest affected infants are likely to be male, of term pregnancies, and not of low birth weight. Our study seeks to identify possible associations among different genders and ethnicities with laryngomalacia as well as differences between our diverse population and published Caucasian-predominant studies. Methods: Data was collected by chart review for seventy-eight children diagnosed with laryngomalacia before the age of 5, prospectively entered into a database at our academic, tertiary-care hospital from 1/16/2008 to 10/15/2010. Data was compared to expected values from the 2009 census data for the Bronx as well as published data in the literature for multiple factors, including gender, ethnicity, low birth weight, and prematurity. Results: There were 45 male and 33 female infants in our study. Twenty-five children were African-American, 17 Hispanic, 12 multi-racial, and 4 Caucasian. Eighteen infants were premature, and 21 were of low birth weight. Twenty-eight percent of our infants had neurologic comorbidity at diagnosis and 30% received surgical treatment. Discussion: Although larger studies are required, we have preliminary evidence that information learned from Caucasian-predominant studies may not apply to all patients of laryngomalacia. When ethnically diverse infants are represented, a strong association between male gender and laryngomalacia does not appear to exist. Our data suggests that premature African-American and Hispanic infants are at greater risk for laryngomalacia. In addition, African-American infants of all gestational ages may be at greater risk. Low birth weight may be a strong predictor of laryngomalacia regardless of the patient's gender or ethnicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1562-1564
Number of pages3
JournalInternational journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Airway
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Laryngomalacia
  • Pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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