Chronic sinusitis doubles a person's risk of depression - study

When you feel like giving up... don’t
When you feel like giving up... don’t

People suffering from chronic sinusitis are more at risk of


and anxiety, a new study found.

Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) affects one in 10 adults and causes inflammation of the nose and paranasal sinuses that can make breathing difficult and cause facial pain or tenderness.

Sufferers have a reduced quality of life, need more medical attention and are more likely to be off sick.

Chronic rhinosinusitis is sub-categorized by the presence or absence of nasal polyps.

The overall incidence of depression during the 11-year follow-up was 1.51-fold higher in sufferers, the South Korean study found. The incidence of anxiety was 1.57-fold higher.

But if sufferers also had nasal polyps, there was at an even greater risk of depression (1.61-fold) and anxiety (1.63-fold) than CRS without nasal polyps.

Assistant Professor Dr Dong-Kyu Kim at Hallym University College of Medicine in Chuncheon explained: "It is well known that CRS places a considerable burden on society and the health care system in terms of direct health care costs and other indirect costs.

"In addition, CRS can have a considerable effect on the patient's health-related quality of life by causing physical, social, emotional, and cognitive impairment.

"Moreover, CRS can be associated with a range of therapy-induced adverse effects and exert a financial influence on the patient.

"Mental health problems related to CRS, such as depression and anxiety, also affect the patient's health-related quality of life and can create challenges in medical management."

The study was based on the health insurance records of 48,672 South Koreans, of which 58.8 per cent were woman.

Dr Kim said: 'CRS is one of the common rhinologic diseases and, despite receiving optimal medical and surgical treatment, some patients with CRS have repeated, persistent symptoms, which have made this condition challenging to manage.

"Specifically, patients with CRS combined with comorbid mental health problems usually show significantly worse pain and energy levels, as well as difficulty with daily activities, than do patients with CRS without mental health problems.

"Anxiety and depression are the two most common mental health disorders in patients with CRS.

"The present study investigated a possible link between CRS and the development of depression and anxiety during an 11-year follow-up period.

"Our findings suggest that patients with CRS had a higher risk of depression and anxiety, regardless of the CRS phenotype.

"Specifically, findings from this study found that patients with CRS without nasal polyps showed a higher risk of developing depression and anxiety than those with CRS with nasal polyps.

"Therefore, this study provides new insight into the effects of CRS on mental health problems.

"Physicians should be aware of the potential comorbidities observed in patients with CRS and provide therapy to reduce the risk of depression and anxiety in these patients."

The study was published in JAMA Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.