COVID-19 Doesn’t Appear More Severe for Patients with Chronic Rhinosinusitis

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According to a paper published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, an official journal of the AAAAI, those with chronic rhinosinusitis had comparable risks to disease development and outcomes as the general population.

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"As we continue to fight this international pandemic, it is important researchers continue to identify risk factors for severe disease so preventative strategies can be implemented.” - Zheng Liu, MD, PhD

A study recently published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice (JACI: In Practice) examined the impact chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) had on COVID-19. Results showed that patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who also had CRS had comparable complications and outcomes to patients without CRS.

Upper airway diseases like CRS, one of the most common nasal inflammatory disorders, can have a large impact on lower respiratory diseases. Despite this, the impact of CRS on COVID-19 has remained largely unknown.

Researchers retrospectively analyzed 1,172 COVID-19 patients discharged from Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, China and completed telephone follow-up within one month after discharge. Comorbidities including CRS were determined based on self-reporting by patients and confirmed independently by physicians using patient records.

In total, 6.1% of patients reported physician-diagnosed CRS. After adjusting for cofounding factors, the researchers found no significant difference in major symptoms between hospitalized COVID-19 patients with and without CRS. Additionally, researchers found no significant different between those with CRS and without when it came to the severity of COVID-19, including complications. There was no association of CRS comorbidity with disease severity on admission, mechanical ventilation, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and hospitalization days. This suggests CRS may not modify the disease expression of COVID-19.

Zheng Liu, MD, PhD, corresponding author for this study, offered more context about the results. “Because the nasal cavity acts as a gateway to the respiratory tract, we wanted to investigate CRS to determine the likelihood of the condition being either a risk or protective factor when it came to COVID-19. As we continue to fight this international pandemic, it is important researchers continue to identify risk factors for severe disease so preventative strategies can be implemented.”

You can learn more about chronic rhinosinusitis on the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website, aaaai.org.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) represents allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic and immunologic diseases. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has more than 7,100 members in the United States, Canada and 72 other countries. The AAAAI’s Find an Allergist/Immunologist service is a trusted resource to help you find a specialist close to home.

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