March 18, 2016
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Nonallergic rhinitis risk linked to obesity in men

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Factors such as male sex and obesity were associated with a higher risk for nonallergic rhinitis in adult patients, according to a recent cross-sectional study.

“Obesity was associated with nonallergic rhinitis in adults, particularly in [men]. In children central obesity was negatively or inversely associated with allergic rhinitis, regardless of sex,” Yueh-Ying Han, PhD, of the division of pediatric pulmonary medicine, allergy, and immunology in the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC at University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues wrote. “Future longitudinal studies in obese [patients] should aim to determine the temporal relationship between obesity and the development of both allergic and nonallergic rhinitis.”

Using data from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Han and colleagues evaluated 8,165 participants to determine whether obesity indicators could be linked to rhinitis. Patients classified with allergic rhinitis either had physician-diagnosed hay fever or allergy with symptoms for at least 12 months and at least one positive immunoglobulin E (IgE) level specific to allergens. A nonallergic rhinitis classification included a physician diagnosis and symptoms but not a positive IgE level, according to the abstract.

The researchers found an association between patients who were overweight and obese and nonallergic rhinitis (OR = 1.43; 95% CI, 1.06-1.93) as well as central obesity and non-allergic rhinitis (OR = 1.61; 95% CI, 1.2-2.16). Han and colleagues found that when stratifying these results, they remained significant in men but became nonstatistically significant in women, according to the abstract.

Factors such obesity, central obesity and overweight were not associated with allergic rhinitis. However, there was a decreased risk for allergic rhinitis in children with central obesity (OR = 0.35; 95% CI, 0.19-0.64). When stratifying these results, the researchers noted that there were similar associations for both men and women, according to the abstract. – by Jeff Craven

Disclosure: Han reports no relevant financial disclosures. One researcher reports research funding from NIH. Please see the full study for a complete list of all researchers’ relevant financial disclosures.