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Epidemiologic evidence suggests that chronic inflammatory conditions of the lung may increase lung cancer risk. These chronic conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma, commonly coexist with chronic rhinosinusitis. We prospectively examined if chronic rhinitis or sinusitis was associated with lung cancer risk in the Singapore Chinese Health Study, a population-based cohort of 63,257 Singapore Chinese, who were aged 45–74 years when recruited between 1993 and 1998. Each subject completed a comprehensive interview on medical conditions, dietary and lifestyle factors at recruitment, and cancer occurrence and survival status were determined via linkage to population-based registries. As of 31 December, 2005, 954 cohort participants had developed lung cancer. Compared with subjects without such history, subjects who reported a history of physician-diagnosed rhinitis or sinusitis at baseline, whether allergic or nonallergic, had a statistically significant 59% increase in risk of lung cancer (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.59; confidence interval [CI] = 1.06–2.37). This association was significant and stronger in women (HR = 2.32; 95% CI = 1.23–4.39) compared to men, and for the adenocarcinoma cell type (HR = 1.91; 95% CI = 1.07–3.42) compared to other histologies. Overall, a history of asthma, hay fever, allergic dermatitis, food allergy or any other allergic conditions asked in a single question was not related to lung cancer risk (HR = 1.11; 95% CI = 0.90–1.36). Chronic rhinosinusitis may be a marker of pan-airway inflammation and its association with lung cancer risk provides evidence linking inflammation to lung carcinogenesis, especially among women. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.