Those Stuffy Swedes

Swedish study determines chronic rhinosinusitis increases risk of severe asthma

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Nasal problems that last longer than 12 weeks may increase the risk of severe asthma, according to Swedish researchers.

Symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis (that is, two symptoms of nasal blockage like lack of smell, sinus pressure and pain, and/or runny nose that lasts more than 12 weeks) increases the risk of severe asthma in patients, according the researchers at the University of Gothenburg.

"Our study strongly supports the concept that nasal disease and asthma often are closely related," said lead researcher Jan Lotvall. "Doctors should consider whether asthma patients with symptoms from the nose have severe asthma, possibly requiring more intense intervention."

About 20 percent to 25 percent of all asthmatics present multiple symptoms, which is more prevalent than previously thought. The prevalence of severe asthma was about 2 percent higher than expected, according to researchers, though the prevalence of non-severe asthma stabilized around 8.5 percent.

The study analyzed 30,000 individuals selected in a random sample with a response rate of 62 percent and found that "individuals reporting multiple asthma symptoms are likely to have a more severe form of asthma, which has been shown to increase the risk of asthma attacks, increases health care utilization and negatively influence quality of life," according to Lotvall.

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Review Date: 
December 3, 2010
Last Updated:
December 3, 2010