Background: Asthma and rhinitis frequently coexist, but no population study has previously determined the relationship between nasal comorbidities and symptom expression and risk factors of asthma.
Methods: In 2008, a postal questionnaire on respiratory health was sent to 30 000 randomly selected subjects aged 16-75 years in West Sweden; 29218 could be traced and 18 087 (62%) responded. The questionnaire included questions on asthma, rhinitis, chronic rhinosinusitis, respiratory symptoms and possible determinants.
Results: Prevalence of allergic rhinitis in asthma was 63.9% and of asthma in allergic rhinitis 19.8%. Prevalence of chronic rhinosinusitis in asthma was 8.4% and of asthma in chronic rhinosinusitis 24.4%. Asthma subjects with chronic rhinitis, or chronic rhinosinusitis, had more symptoms of asthma and bronchitis than those without rhinitis (p < 0.001). There was an obvious trend of higher ORs for various environmental exposures including occupational exposure to dust, gases and fumes (OR 2.32 vs. OR 1.44), visible mould at home (OR 1.72 vs. OR 1.27) and water damage at home (OR 1.82 vs. OR 1.06) for asthma with chronic rhinosinusitis than for asthma with allergic rhinitis. Family history of allergy yielded a higher OR for asthma with allergic rhinitis than with asthma with chronic rhinosinusitis (OR 7.15 vs. OR 4.48).
Conclusion: Considerable overlap between asthma and nasal comorbidities was documented, confirming a close relationship between nasal disease and asthma. Allergic rhinitis, chronic rhinitis and chronic rhinosinusitis were associated with different risk factor patterns and symptom expression of asthma. Thus, different nasal comorbidities may reflect different phenotypes of asthma. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
London: Baillière Tindall , 2011. Vol. 105, no 11, 1611-1621 p.