Cigarette smoking is associated with high prevalence of chronic rhinitis and low prevalence of allergic rhinitis in men

Authors

  • J. Eriksson,

    Corresponding author
    • Krefting Research Centre / Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • L. Ekerljung,

    1. Krefting Research Centre / Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • B.-M. Sundblad,

    1. Lung and Allergy Research, National Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • J. Lötvall,

    1. Krefting Research Centre / Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • K. Torén,

    1. Krefting Research Centre / Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
    2. Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • E. Rönmark,

    1. The OLIN Studies, Department of Medicine, Sunderby Central Hospital of Norrbotten, Luleå, Sweden
    2. Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Umeå, Umeå, Sweden
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  • K. Larsson,

    1. Lung and Allergy Research, National Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • B. Lundbäck

    1. Krefting Research Centre / Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
    2. The OLIN Studies, Department of Medicine, Sunderby Central Hospital of Norrbotten, Luleå, Sweden
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  • Edited by: Wytske Fokkens

Correspondence

Jonas Eriksson, MD, Krefting Research Centre, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg,

SE - 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden.

Tel.: +46-703-274729

Fax: +46-31-786 6730

E-mail: jonas.eriksson@lungall.gu.se

Abstract

Background

The harmful effects of tobacco smoke on human health, including respiratory health, are extensive and well documented. Previous data on the effect of smoking on rhinitis and allergic sensitization are inconsistent. We sought to investigate how smoking correlates with prevalence of allergic and chronic rhinitis among adults in Sweden.

Methods

The study population comprised 27 879 subjects derived from three large randomly selected cross-sectional population surveys conducted in Sweden between 2006 and 2008. The same postal questionnaire on respiratory health was used in the three surveys, containing questions about obstructive respiratory diseases, rhinitis, respiratory symptoms and possible determinants of disease, including smoking habits. A random sample from one of the cohorts underwent a clinical examination including skin prick testing.

Results

Smoking was associated with a high prevalence of chronic rhinitis in both men and women and a low prevalence of allergic rhinitis in men. These associations were dose dependent and remained when adjusted for a number of possible confounders in multiple logistic regression analysis. Prevalence of chronic rhinitis was lowest in nonsmokers and highest in very heavy smokers (18.5% vs 34.5%, P < 0.001). Prevalence of sensitization to common airborne allergens was lower in current smokers (25.9%, P = 0.008) and ex-smokers (28.2%, P = 0.022) than in nonsmokers (38.5%).

Conclusion

We found that smoking was associated with a high prevalence of chronic rhinitis in both sexes and a low prevalence of allergic rhinitis in men. The associations were dose dependent and remained when adjusting for several possible confounders.

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