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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995 Jul;113(1):104-9.

The health impact of chronic sinusitis in patients seeking otolaryngologic care.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, USA.


Although chronic sinusitis is an increasingly common diagnosis in the United States, the health burden of this disorder relative to the general population and to other chronic diseases has not been previously evaluated. One hundred fifty-eight patients with chronic sinusitis and no prior surgery underwent cross-sectional evaluation by use of the Medical Outcome Study Short-form 36-Item Health Survey. These patients were all referred for otolaryngologic care, and more than 80% subsequently underwent sinus surgery. Mean scores were compared from the eight subscales of general health assessment with similarly derived data for the United States general population. Significant differences (p < 0.05) were seen in several domains, including bodily pain, general health, vitality, and social functioning. Comparisons with other chronic diseases revealed significantly lower scores (p < 0.05) in measures of bodily pain and social functioning for sinusitis patients than in patients with congestive heart failure, angina, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and back pain. These findings suggest that the national health impact of chronic sinusitis is far greater than is currently appreciated.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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