Objectives: We describe the incidence of chronic laryngitis (CL) and identify the most common presenting symptoms and initial treatments used.
Methods: We retrospectively identified patients with a diagnosis of CL who were seen among a primary care cohort at an urban academic medical center from 2009 to 2010. The incidence of CL was calculated. Symptoms, first-visit treatment, smoking, and demographics were recorded.
Results: Of a population of 40,317 people, 280 received a new diagnosis of CL over a 2-year period, representing a yearly incidence of 3.47 cases per 1,000 people. The subjects consisted of 160 women and 120 men. Race was recorded as black (126), Hispanic (47), white (68), or other (39). The mean age was 52.9 years (range, 20 to 90 years). The initial therapies included proton pump inhibitors (79%), voice therapy (17%), nasal steroid (13%), antihistamine (4%), amitriptyline (4%), other (17%), and none (11%). The most common symptoms were dysphonia (53%), pain/soreness (45%), globus sensation (40%), cough (33%), excessive throat clearing (28%), and dysphagia (32%). An otolaryngologist saw 93% of the cases.
Conclusions: The yearly CL incidence was 3.47 per 1,000 people. Up to 21% of the population may develop CL in their lifetime. Most of the patients in this cohort were referred to otolaryngologists, and the majority were treated with proton pump inhibitors. Dysphonia, globus sensation, and pain were the most common symptoms. Population surveys could be used to define undiagnosed disease and the overall prevalence of CL.