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New evidence of increased risk of rhinitis in subjects with COPD: a longitudinal population study.

Journal article
Authors Joel Bergqvist
Anders Andersson
Anna-Carin Olin
Nicola Murgia
Linus Schiöler
Mogens Bove
Johan Hellgren
Published in The International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 2617-2623
ISSN 1176-9106
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Section of Occupational and environmental medicine
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Otorhinolaryngology
Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition
Pages 2617-2623
Language en
Subject categories Clinical Medicine


The aim of this population-based study was to investigate the risk of developing noninfectious rhinitis (NIR) in subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).This is a longitudinal population-based study comprising 3,612 randomly selected subjects from Gothenburg, Sweden, aged 25-75 years. Lung function was measured at baseline with spirometry and the included subjects answered a questionnaire on respiratory symptoms. At follow-up, the subjects answered a questionnaire with a response rate of 87%. NIR was defined as symptoms of nasal obstruction, nasal secretion, and/or sneezing attacks without having a cold, during the last 5 years. COPD was defined as a spirometry ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 second divided by forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC) <0.7. Subjects who reported asthma and NIR at baseline were excluded from the study. The odds ratios for developing NIR (ie, new-onset NIR) in relation to age, gender, body mass index, COPD, smoking, and atopy were calculated.In subjects with COPD, the 5-year incidence of NIR was significantly increased (10.8% vs 7.4%, P=0.005) and was higher among subjects aged >40 years. Smoking, atopy, and occupational exposure to gas, fumes, or dust were also associated with new-onset NIR. COPD, smoking, and atopy remained individual risk factors for new-onset NIR in the logistic regression analysis.This longitudinal population-based study of a large cohort showed that COPD is a risk factor for developing NIR. Smoking and atopy are also risk factors for NIR. The results indicate that there is a link present between upper and lower respiratory inflammation in NIR and COPD.

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