Risk of obstructive sleep apnea in African American patients with chronic rhinosinusitis

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2017 Jun;118(6):685-688.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2017.03.009. Epub 2017 Apr 27.


Background: It is widely known that patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) commonly experience sleep disruption. Many of these patients have the associated diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, little is known about the risk factors for developing OSA in the CRS population.

Objective: To identify the risk factors for OSA in CRS to determine who should be screened for OSA among patients with CRS.

Methods: We evaluated a large cohort of patients with confirmed diagnostic criteria for CRS. Patient medical records were reviewed to identify those with OSA confirmed by overnight polysomnography. Records were further reviewed for demographic information (age, sex, race, and ethnicity), body mass index, and medical history, including the presence of nasal polyps, asthma, aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease, allergic rhinitis, and eczema. The number of endoscopic sinus operations, duration of CRS, presence of subjective smell loss, and computed tomography Lund-Mackay score were also ascertained.

Results: A total of 916 patients with CRS were included in the study. Implementation of a multivariable regression model for identifying adjusted risk factors revealed that African American patients had a significantly higher risk for OSA than white patients, with an adjusted odds ratio of 1.98 (95% confidence interval, 1.19-3.29). Furthermore, patients with CRS without nasal polyps were at higher risk for OSA, with an odds ratio of 1.63 (95% confidence interval, 1.02-2.61) compared with patients with CRS with nasal polyps.

Conclusion: African American patients with CRS were at higher risk for OSA compared with white patients, and this patient group needs to be screened for OSA.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illinois / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Rhinitis / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sinusitis / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology*