Byars - JAMA

What are the long-term health risks of having your tonsils out?

Sean G. Byars, Stephen C. Stearns & Jacobus J. Boomsma (2018) Association of Long-Term Risk of Respiratory, Allergic, and Infectious Diseases With Removal of Adenoids and Tonsils in Childhood. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online: June 7, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2018.0614

This collaborative work was initiated some time ago by Sean Byars (MIG Senior Postdoc) and colleagues at University of Copenhagen. In this population-based cohort study of almost 1.2 million children, removal of adenoids or tonsils in childhood was associated with significantly increased relative risk of later respiratory, allergic, and infectious diseases. Increases in long-term absolute disease risks were considerably larger than changes in risk for the disorders these surgeries aim to treat.

The article has attracted quite a lot of media interest, both locally and internationally, some examples are below:

New York Times


Herald Sun

Pursuit (University of Melbourne)

Science Daily

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Sean Byars