Relationship between chronic nasal and respiratory symptoms in patients with COPD

Respir Med. 2003 Aug;97(8):909-14. doi: 10.1016/s0954-6111(03)00114-8.


The relationship between the upper and lower airways in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is unknown. We examined the prevalence of chronic nasal symptoms and the correlation with lower respiratory symptoms and parameters of severity of COPD such as exacerbation frequency and spirometry. 61 COPD patients from the East London COPD cohort were studied. [Mean (SD) age 70 (6.96) years, FEV1 0.98 (0.38) l, FVC 2.45 (0.72) l, FEV1%Pred 37.0 (12.3), and 47.6 (31.8) smoking pack years, 14 current smokers, 36 males]. COPD patients had a high prevalence of nasal symptoms (75%), more than half reporting nasal discharge (52.5%) and sneezing (45.9%). Associations were found between nasal score and daily sputum production (P = 0.005) and post-nasal drip and sputum production (P = 0.046) with a trend to increased nasal symptoms in frequent exacerbators compared to infrequent exacerbators. No significant relationship was found between nasal symptoms and FEV1 or any other lower respiratory airway symptom. Associations between nasal and respiratory symptoms were found suggesting that there is a relationship between the upper and lower airway in COPD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nose Diseases / etiology*
  • Nose Diseases / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Respiration Disorders / etiology*
  • Respiration Disorders / physiopathology
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / physiopathology
  • Vital Capacity / physiology