The aim of this study was to investigate the association between occupational exposure and chronic rhinosinusitis.
A random population from the region of Telemark, aged 16 to 50 years, answered a respiratory questionnaire including questions on chronic rhinosinusitis and exposure in the occupational environment.
A total of 16,099/48,142 subjects responded. The prevalence of chronic rhinosinusitis was 9%. Exposure associated with chronic rhinosinusitis comprised paper dust [odds ratio (OR) 1.3, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.1 to 1.5], cleaning agents (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.0 to 1.3), metal dust (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.1 to 1.6), animals (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.0 to 1.5), moisture/mould/mildew (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.1 to 1.5), and physically strenuous work (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.2 to 1.7).
Occupational exposure to paper dust, cleaning agents, metal dust, animals, moisture/mould/mildew, and physically strenuous work was independently related to having chronic rhinosinusitis. An occupational history should be reviewed when assessing patients with chronic rhinosinusitis.
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, Institute of Clinical Sciences, The Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden (Drs Clarhed, Hellgren); Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Telemark Hospital, Skien, Norway (Mr Svendsen, Dr Fell); Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Institute of Medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden (Drs Schiöler, Torén); Department of Respiratory Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, Norway Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway (Dr Kongerud).
Address correspondence to: Ulrika K.E. Clarhed, MD, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, Institute of Clinical Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gröna Stråket 9, SE-413 45 Göteborg, Sweden (Ulrika.KE.Svensson@vgregion.se).
Funding for this study was provided by The Medical Society of Gothenburg (GLS), ALF Regional and governmental funding, Swedish Association for Otorhinolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery.
The authors have no conflicts of interest, including financial, consultant, institutional, and other relationships.