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Cigarette smoking and self-assessed upper airway health.

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Cigarette smoking and self-assessed upper airway health.

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2011 Feb;268(2):219-26

Authors: Kjærgaard T, Cvancarova M, Steinsvåg SK

Habitual smoking represents a chronic insult to the airway. However, the effects of smoking on upper airway health remains poorly described. Our objective was to examine the relationship between cigarette smoking and self-assessed upper airway health and evaluate dose-response relationships between exposure and complaints in a sample of 2,523 patients. Eligible subjects were adults referred to ENT specialist for evaluation of chronic nasal or sleep-related complaints. Thirteen specific symptoms and conditions, mainly related to the upper airway, were graded based on visual analog scales (VAS). Smokers, representing 33% of the sample, were more likely to report severe upper airway complaints compared to non-smokers (odds ratio 1.31-2.08) and exhibited significantly higher visual analog scale scores than non-smokers for 9 out of 13 outcome variables (p < 0.001-0.007). Further, significant associations were found between cigarette consumption and severity of complaints (p < 0.001-0.01), heavy smokers generally being more likely to exhibit high VAS scores than light smokers. In several cases smoking status and self-reported asthma/allergy had similar impact on subjective outcomes. Cigarette smoking was clearly associated with impaired upper airway health and seemed to be an important determinant in subjects seeking medical attention due to chronic nasal or sleep-related complaints. Both threshold and dose-response like relationships were evident between cigarette consumption and the outcome measures.

PMID: 20512499 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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