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Perceived stress and severity of chronic rhinosinusitis in allergic and nonallergic patients

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Chronic stress exposure carries greater risk of onset of atopic respiratory disorders such as rhinitis and asthma. The interaction between depression, anxiety, and severity of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) has been suggested. We aimed to access the relationship between psychological stress, severity of CRS, and atopy. Sixty-three consecutive patients referred with CRS were asked to score the severity of rhinosinusitis symptoms on a visual analog scale and to fill in questionnaires on the disease-specific quality of life and perceived stress—22-item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22) and measure of perceived stress (MPS) scale, respectively. Inclusion criteria for the study were a reliable allergy evaluation and a recent computerized tomography (CT) scan of the sinuses. Patients with nasal polyps (NPs), asthma, and previous surgery were excluded. The study group consisted of 14 allergic and 18 nonallergic patients with CRS without NPs (CRSsNPs). Correlation between MPS and SNOT-22 scores in the study group was highly significant (Pearson r = 0.61; p = 0.001). Patients with higher stress scores had significantly stronger postnasal discharge, thick discharge, cough, disturbed sleep, fatigue, and sadness. Postnasal drip was significantly stronger in patients with allergy. The correlation between SNOT-22 and CT scores was insignificant. The correlation between MPS and SNOT-22 scores suggests an interaction between severity of CRS and chronic stress, but not with the extent of the disease on CT in CRSsNPs. Chronic psychological stress might be one of the factors that modifies the disease severity and may lead to uncontrolled disease in CRS patients.
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Keywords: 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test; Allergy; atopy; chronic rhinosinusitis; computerized tomography score; disease severity; measure of perceived stress scale; psychological stress; rhinitis; uncontrolled disease

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Otorhinolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Zagreb School of Medicine, University Hospital Center “Sestre milosrdnice,” Zagreb, Croatia

Publication date: 01 September 2014

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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