Nasal and sinus symptoms and chronic rhinosinusitis in a population-based sample

A. G. Hirsch*, W. F. Stewart, A. S. Sundaresan, A. J. Young, T. L. Kennedy, J. Scott Greene, W. Feng, B. K. Tan, R. P. Schleimer, R. C. Kern, A. Lidder, B. S. Schwartz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Scopus citations


Background: The objective of this study was to describe the first US-based study to use the European Position Paper on Rhinosinusitis (EPOS) criteria to study the prevalence of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) in a general-population sample. Methods: A CRS symptom questionnaire was mailed to 23 700 primary care patients from Geisinger Clinic, a health system serving 45 counties in Pennsylvania. CRS cases were categorized into four unique subgroups based on EPOS symptoms: obstruction and discharge with no smell loss or pain/pressure; smell loss without pain/pressure; facial pain and/or pressure without smell loss; and both smell loss and pain/pressure. All cases were required to have nasal obstruction or discharge. Logistic regression was used to evaluate potential factors associated with CRS subgroups. Results: We found that 11.9% of patients met criteria for CRS. Prevalence peaked at 15.9% between ages 50 and 59 years and then dropped to 6.8% after age 69. The odds of CRS was higher among patients who were white, younger, smokers, had a history of Medical Assistance, and had other diseases. When CRS subgroups were modeled separately, these associations were no longer significant for some CRS subgroups. Comorbid diseases were most strongly associated with CRS cases who reported smell loss and facial pain and/or pressure and had the weakest associations with CRS cases who did not report these symptoms. Conclusions: CRS is a highly prevalent and heterogeneous condition. Differences in risk factors and health outcomes across symptom subgroups may be indicative of differences in etiology that have implications for disease management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-281
Number of pages8
JournalAllergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • chronic rhinosinusitis
  • epidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Nasal and sinus symptoms and chronic rhinosinusitis in a population-based sample'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this