Background: Bronchiectasis (BQs) is an uncommon disease with the potential to cause devastating complications. All patients with BQs have cough and chronic sputum production that may have a great impact on patient's quality of life. Upper airway symptoms are also frequent in patients with BQs. Associations between upper and lower airways diseases have been demonstrated in allergic rhinitis and asthma, nasal polyposis and asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease and chronic rhinosinusitis.
Objective: (1) To investigate the impact of bronchiectasis and nasal symptoms on quality of life. (2) To evaluate the added impact of nasal polyposis on quality of life in patients with BQs.
Methods: Sixty patients with bronchiectasis and upper airway symptoms were included. Patients were evaluated for nasal symptoms, nasal polyp size by endoscopy, and quality of life using the SF-36 generic questionnaire.
Results: In comparison with the Spanish general population, patients with BQs had worse scores in all SF-36 domains (P<0.05). Males reported significantly higher quality of life scores on physical functioning and social functioning than females did. Although the age, pulmonary function, presence of nasal polyps, upper airway symptoms, tobacco smoking history, and disease duration was similar between them. Males with BQs had worse quality of life than males from the Spanish general population on body pain, general health, and vitality (P<0.05). Females with BQs had worse quality of life than females from the Spanish general population on physical function, body pain, general health, vitality, social function, and emotional role (P<0.05). Nasal polyps were found in 25 (41.6%) of 60 patients with BQs. No significant differences were observed on quality of life outcomes between patients with BQs with and without nasal polyposis.
Conclusion: These results suggest that BQs has a considerable impact on quality of life while nasal polyposis has no additional impact on the quality of life of patients with BQs.