Published Online: January 20, 2016
Chronic Rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a common inflammatory disease of the upper airways that is often categorized into subtypes including “with” and “without” nasal polyps. However, the influence of race on CRS had not been investigated.
In a study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, Mahdavinia et al conducted a large cohort study, investigating various phenotypic characteristics of CRS in patients, living in the United States, with different racial backgrounds.
African American (AA) CRS patients living in Chicago were more likely to report smell loss as a symptom of CRS. Furthermore, AA CRS patients who failed medical therapy and required surgical intervention had a significantly higher frequency of nasal polyposis and aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD), and a higher disease severity index on computational tomography (CT) imaging compared to Caucasian CRS cases. The increased polyposis in AAs was associated with increased hospitalization for asthma.
African Americans with refractory CRS are at increased risk for nasal polyposis, smell loss, AERD, and a greater severity of disease based on imaging, resulting in increased healthcare utilization. Multiple factors, including greater barriers to health care access or genetic elements could be playing a role in these observations. Future studies are needed to investigate the underlying mechanism of these observations.
The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.