The high incidence of chronic ear disease among the three ethnic groups, Eskimo, Algonkian Indians, and Caucasians living under the same environmental conditions is studied. The role of socio-economic factors in the incidence and sequelae of ear disease in this population was similar to other studies among the native peoples of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland. The variation in the disease pattern in the different ethnic groups was shown to be related to the aeration of the middle ear cleft. The air cell system of the mastoid is determined by x-rays and/or surgical exploration, but the patency of the Eustachian tube and its size is determined by impedance audiometry and use of ureteric catheters. The clinical and surgical findings of the behavior of chronic ear disease in the different ethnic groups is correlated to tissue culture experiments. The role of lowered oxygen tension in the formation and behavior of cholesteatoma is illustrated well among the Caucasians with poor aeration of the middle ear cleft who show a high incidence of cholesteatoma, unlike the Eskimos with good aeration who show a complete absence of cholesteatoma.
From: Fortuine, Robert et al. 1993. The Health of the Inuit of North America: A Bibliography from the Earliest Times through 1990. University of Alaska Anchorage. Citation number 2445.