March 1, 2014


Megan Brown
(414) 272-6071

Among Patients with Chronic Rhinosinusitis and Nasal Polyps, Women Have More Severe Disease than Men

SAN DIEGO, CA – Women are more likely to have asthma and some autoimmune disorders, but is the same true of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps? A study presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) found that while women did not appear to have higher rates of prevalence, they did have more severe disease.

“Nasal polyps are growths on the lining of the sinuses. Up to 50% of patients with chronic
rhinosinusitis also have asthma, and nasal polyps are associated with both conditions,” said Kathryn E. Hulse, first author of the study.

The researchers used a database of patients undergoing sinus surgery to look at the effect of sex on the prevalence of chronic rhinosinisutis with nasal polyps, aspirin sensitivity, and asthma. They also compared levels of certain proteins and antibodies present in extracts taken from the nasal polyps of the patients.

In the more than 1,200 patients studied, it was found that a significantly smaller proportion of chronic rhinosinusitis patients with nasal polyps were in fact female. However, women who had chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps were more likely to have asthma. Additionally, 65% of patients with aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease, which is the presence of both conditions along with aspirin sensitivity, were women.

Further, women suffering from chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps who also had asthma were more likely to have revision surgeries and had the highest levels of the proteins and antibodies that were compared from the nasal polyps.

“We’re seeing differences between sexes with yet another condition, underscoring the need for future studies to figure out what mechanisms drive disease in men and women,” said Dr. Hulse. “That’s going to be key to finding better treatments for these conditions.”

More information on rhinosinusitis is available from the AAAAI website.

The AAAAI represents allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health
professionals and others with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic disease. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has more than 6,800 members in the United States, Canada and 60 other countries. (Note to media: request/see abstract 584)


Editor's notes:
· This study was presented during the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of
Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) on February 28-March 4 in San Diego.
However, they do not necessarily reflect the policies or the opinions of the AAAAI.
· A link to all abstracts presented at the Annual Meeting is available at (Note to media: request/see abstract 584)

AAAAI - American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology