Prevalence of allergic rhinitis and asthma in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis and gastroesophageal reflux disease

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2016 Aug;117(2):158-162.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2016.05.018. Epub 2016 Jun 7.


Background: An association between chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) has been previously reported; however, the underlying factors linking CRS and GERD remain to be elucidated.

Objective: To assess the association of GERD and CRS using prospective and retrospective approaches.

Methods: The retrospective study comprised a large cohort of CRS cases, whereas the prospective arm evaluated a series of CRS cases and controls.

Results: In the retrospective arm of the study, of the 1066 patients with CRS, 112 (10.5%) had GERD. Among patients with CRS, GERD was associated with higher body mass index, older age, and female sex. The odds ratios (ORs) for asthma and allergic rhinitis in the CRS group with GERD compared with the CRS group without GERD were 2.89 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.905-4.389) and 2.021 (95% CI, 1.035-3.947). Furthermore, GERD was associated with a greater duration of CRS. Ninety patients with CRS and 81 controls were enrolled in the prospective arm of the study. In the CRS group, GERD was associated with asthma (OR, 4.77; 95% CI, 1.27-18.01). Patients with CRS and GERD had a longer duration and a younger age at onset of CRS. In controls, no association was found between GERD and asthma (OR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.09-5.19) or allergic rhinitis (OR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.05-2.59).

Conclusion: Patients with CRS and GERD are more likely to have atopic conditions and asthma when compared with patients with CRS but without GERD. One of the potential explanations of this link is that comorbid GERD and atopic disease are potential risk factors for development of CRS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / complications*
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhinitis / complications*
  • Rhinitis / epidemiology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic / complications*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic / epidemiology*
  • Sinusitis / complications*
  • Sinusitis / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires