Sinusitis Not as Common as Thought

Chronic cases in United States may be overestimated, study finds

TUESDAY, March 16, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The number of cases of chronic sinusitis in the United States may be much lower than previously reported, says a Mayo Clinic study in the March issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

Chronic sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses that can last for 90 days or longer. Estimates from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey rank chronic sinusitis as one of the most common chronic diseases in the nation, affecting 14 percent to 16 percent of the population.

"These data rely on patient self-reporting of the disease. However, chronic sinusitis is difficult to diagnose because its symptoms overlap those of many other disease processes. As such, these prevalence data may be unreliable," the study authors write.

They conclude the overall age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of chronic sinusitis was 1,955 per 100,000 of the population, or 1.96 percent.

"Current prevalence estimates of chronic sinusitis that rely on patient reporting may be exaggerated," the authors write.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about sinusitis.

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, March 15, 2004
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