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Laryngoscope. 2014 Aug;124(8):1744-9. doi: 10.1002/lary.24532. Epub 2014 Jan 3.

Association between allergic rhinitis and nasopharyngeal carcinoma: a population-based study.

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Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, New Taipei City, Taiwan; Sleep research Center, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.



Although it is known that inflammatory processes can elevate the risk of cancer, to date the association between allergic rhinitis (AR) and nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) remains unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the association between NPC and AR based on a population-based database in Taiwan.


A case-control study.


In total, 1,799 NPC cases and 5,397 randomly selected controls without NPC were included. We evaluated the prevalence and risk of prior AR between cases and controls. We also performed a conditional logistic regression analysis to calculate the odds ratio (OR) for having been previously diagnosed with AR between cases and controls.


In total, 2,453 of the 7,196 study subjects (34.1%) had previously received an AR diagnosis; 875 (48.6%) were cases and 1,578 (29.2%) were controls (P < 0.001). The conditional logistic regression suggested that the OR of prior AR for cases was 2.29 (95% CI = 2.05-2.56) compared to controls. Even after adjusting for geographic region, monthly income, urbanization level, diabetes, tobacco use disorder, and alcohol abuse, the OR of having previously received an AR diagnosis among cases was 2.25 (95% CI = 2.02-2.59) that of controls. Furthermore, after excluding subjects diagnosed with AR within 1, 2, or 3 years prior to the index date, the respective adjusted ORs were 1.91, 1.61, and 1.35.


This study demonstrated an association between NPC and prior AR. We recommend that physicians and patients with AR keep in mind this potential risk of subsequent NPC development.


Allergic rhinitis; nasopharyngeal carcinoma

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