Allergic rhinitis, chronic rhinosinusitis, and symptom severity: A population-based study

Sandra Y. Lin, Douglas D. Reh, Ana Navas-Acien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Approximately 20% of the U.S. population suffers from allergic rhinitis (AR), and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is estimated to affect 12.5% of the population. Frequently, many patients suffer from both disorders. In this study, we evaluated the relationship between AR and chronic rhinosinusitis as far as impact on nasal symptoms in a community-based case-control study of adult nonsmokers. Methods: In Washington County, MD, 200 subjects were recruited and interviewed from the same community. Subjects were divided into 4 study groups: AR without CRS, CRS without AR, AR with CRS, and a control group without AR or CRS. A validated questionnaire was used to assess upper respiratory symptoms, and disease-specific quality of life. Results: Upper respiratory symptoms were significantly more severe for the affected subjects when compared to controls. Symptom severity was greatest for the CRS groups with or without AR, followed by AR without CRS, and controls least symptomatic. Subjects with AR plus CRS were most likely to have had previous nasal surgery, and use nasal decongestants when compared to the other groups. Conclusion: While both AR and CRS are common in the United States, it appears that patients who suffer from both disorders have more severe symptoms and are more likely to have undergone nasal surgery than if they have only 1 of these disease states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-56
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Allergy
  • Nasal symptom
  • Rhinitis
  • Rhinosinusitis
  • Upper respiratory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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