The frequency of rhinitis in patients with OSAS Relationship between rhinitis severity and OSAS severity
Background: There are a few studies comparing allergic (AR) and nonallergic rhinitis (NAR) frequency in adult patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Aim: To detect the frequency of AR or NAR and the characteristics of AR according to "ARIA" in adult patients with OSAS diagnosed using polysomnography (PSG). Method: A questionnaire was applied by face to face interview including rhinitis symptoms (sneezing, rhinorrhea, obstruction and itching), the frequency of nasal symptoms and their effects on daily activities, and a skin prick test (SPT) was performed to 100 patients (mean age 51,3 +/- 1,1 years) who suspected OSAS with history, and hospitalized for PSG. The patients who had 2 or more nasal symptoms were accepted as rhinitis (n=29, 29.0%). Results: According to PSG results, in 47 patients (47.0%) apnea- hypopnea index (AHI) was >= 16 (Group II OSAS). The mean body mass index (BMI) was 33.3 +/- 0.7 kg/m(2) (range 22.2-54.3 kg/m(2)). There were no statistically significant differences in the atopy (n=4, 8.5% vs. n=4, 7.5%, respectively; p > 0.05) and rhinitis frequencies (n=14, 29.8% vs. n=15, 28.3%, respectively; p > 0.05) between Group II OSAS and Group I OSAS. Persistent (n=9, 64.3% vs. n=11, 73.3%, respectively; p > 0.05) and moderate/severe rhinitis percentages (n=10, 71.4% vs. n=12, 80.0%, respectively; p > 0.05) were also statistically indifferent in Group II OSAS and Group I OSAS patients with rhinitis. Skin prick tests were positive only in two patients with rhinitis who had < 16 AHI. The most frequent nasal symptom in patient with rhinitis was nasal obstruction (n=24, 82.8%). Nasal itching was more frequent but statistically insignificant in Group I OSAS than Group II OSAS (n=10, 66.7% vs. n=5, 35.7%, p=0.10). Conclusion: Our data rule out AR, NAR and atopy as a major risk factor for OSAS.