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Bergqvist, Joel; Andersson, Anders; Schioler, Linus; Olin, Anna-Carin; Murgia, Nicola; Bove, Mogens; Janson, Christer; Abramson, Michael J.; Leynaert, Benedicte; Nowak, Dennis ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7871-8686; Franklin, Karl A.; Pin, Isabelle; Storaas, Torgeir; Schlünssen, Vivi; Heinrich, Joachim and Hellgren, Johan (2020): Non-infectious rhinitis is more strongly associated with early-rather than late-onset of COPD: data from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS). In: European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Vol. 277, No. 5: pp. 1353-1359

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Purpose: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with several co-morbidities and non-infectious rhinitis (NIR) has emerged as a new possible co-morbidity. The primary aim of this study is to confirm a previously reported association between NIR and COPD in a multicentre population over time. The secondary aim is to investigate the course over time of such an association through a comparison between early- and late-onset COPD. Methods This study is part of the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS). A random adult population from 25 centres in Europe and one in Australia was examined with spirometry and answered a respiratory questionnaire in 1998-2002 (ECRHS II) and in 2008-2013 (ECRHS III). Symptoms of non-infectious rhinitis, hay fever and asthma, and smoking habits were reported. Subjects reporting asthma were excluded. COPD was defined as a spirometry ratio of FEV1/FVC < 0.7. A total of 5901 subjects were included. Results Non-infectious rhinitis was significantly more prevalent in subjects with COPD compared with no COPD (48.9% vs 37.1%, p < 0.001) in ECRHS II (mean age 43) but not in ECHRS III (mean age 54). In the multivariable regression model adjusted for COPD, smoking, age, BMI, and gender, non-infectious rhinitis was associated with COPD in both ECRHS II and III. Conclusion Non-infectious rhinitis was significantly more common in subjects with COPD at a mean age of 43. Ten years later, the association was weaker. The findings indicate that NIR could be associated with the early onset of COPD.

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