Get access

Associations between obesity and inflammatory sinonasal disorders


  • Neil Bhattacharyya MD, FACS

    Corresponding author
    • Division of Otolaryngology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Department of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
    Search for more papers by this author

  • n.b. is a consultant for IntersectENT and Entellus.

  • The author has no other funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Send correspondence to Neil Bhattacharyya, MD, FACS, Division of Otolaryngology, 45 Francis St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail:



Determine whether adult obesity is associated with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) and/or allergic rhinitis (AR).

Study Design

Cross-sectional analysis of medical panel survey.


The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a large-scale household-based survey of health care utilization in the United States (2008 and 2010) was examined, identifying adult cases of CRS and AR. The presence or absence of obesity (body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2) was determined. Adjusting for age, sex, race, geographic region, insurance coverage, and Charlson Comorbidity Index, odds ratios for the presence of CRS and/or AR in the presence of obesity were determined. The relations between body mass index as a linear variable and the presence of CRS and AR were determined.


A total of 17.6 ± 0.6 million adults reported AR (7.7% ± 0.3%) and 13.0 ± 0.5 million reported CRS (5.7% ± 0.2%; weighted estimates). Additionally, 64.9 ± 1.4 million adults (29.0% ± 0.4%) were classified as obese based on body mass index. The adjusted odds ratio for AR when obesity was present was 1.22 (P < .001, 95% confidence interval = 1.12–1.33). The adjusted odds ratio for CRS when obesity was present was 1.31 (P < .001, 95% confidence interval = 1.18–1.45). Increasing body mass index as a continuous variable was significantly associated with the presence of both AR (odds ratio = 1.023, P < .001) and CRS (odds ratio = 1.022, P < .001).


The current data demonstrate an increased prevalence of adult obesity associated with both AR and CRS.

Level of Evidence

2b. Laryngoscope, 123:1840–1844, 2013