Reversal of Smoking Effects on Chronic Rhinosinusitis after Smoking Cessation

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Abstract

Objective

To understand whether the impact of smoking on chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is reversible after smoking cessation.

Study Design

Cross-sectional study.

Setting

Academic tertiary care rhinology clinic.

Subjects and Methods

A total of 103 former-smoker CRS patients and 103 nonsmoker CRS patients were prospectively recruited. The primary outcome measure was sinonasal symptom severity measured with the 22-item Sinonasal Outcomes Test (SNOT-22), and secondary outcome measures were general health-related quality of life (QOL) measured with the 5-dimensional EuroQol visual analog scale (EQ-5D VAS) and patient-reported CRS-related antibiotic and oral corticosteroid usage in the past year. Outcome measures were compared between cohorts and checked for association with time since cessation of smoking for former smokers.

Results

Compared with nonsmokers, former smokers had worse SNOT-22 score (P = .019) and EQ-5D VAS score (P = .001) and reported using more CRS-related antibiotics (P = .003) and oral corticosteroids in the past year (P = .013). In former smokers, every year was associated with a statistically significant improvement in SNOT-22 score (β = −0.48; 95% CI, −0.91 to −0.05; P = .032), EQ-5D VAS score (β = 0.46; 95% CI, 0.02-0.91; P = .046), and CRS-related oral corticosteroid use (relative risk = 0.95; 95% CI, 0.91-0.98; P = .001). Given the differences in our study outcome measures between former smokers and nonsmokers, we estimate that the reversible impacts of smoking on CRS may resolve after 10 to 20 years.

Conclusions

CRS patients who are former smokers have worse sinonasal symptomatology, QOL, and CRS-related medication usage than nonsmokers. Every year since cessation of smoking is associated improvements in sinonasal symptomatology, QOL, and CRS-related oral corticosteroid use, potentially reaching nonsmoker levels after 10 to 20 years.

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