The burden of chronic upper airway disorders in Australia: a population-based cross-sectional study

Al-Rahim Habib*, Raewyn Campbell, Larry Kalish, Eugene H. Wong, Jessica Grayson, Raquel Alvarado, Raymond Sacks, Richard J. Harvey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Chronic upper airway disorders such as allergic rhinitis (AR) and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) have been shown to significantly impact the use of healthcare services, productivity, and quality of life. This study aimed to determine the socio-demographic, economic and lifestyle behaviours of Australians who suffer from chronic upper airway disorders and compare these with other chronic diseases. Methods: Data from the National Health Survey (NHS) 2017/18 conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) was used. The purpose of this survey was to acquire a cohort representative of the population and collect health-related information (socio-demographic, economic, lifestyle, chronic conditions). Respondents reporting AR or CRS 6 months prior to being surveyed were included. Results: Of 17,248 participants AR and CRS were found to affect 21.5% and 9.8% of the population, respectively. After controlling for socio-demographic, education, employment, and income respondents with AR were more likely ≤60 years of age [OR: 1.2 (1.1–1.4), P=0.001], female [OR: 1.1 (1.0–1.2), P=0.010] and consume alcohol [OR 1.4 (1.2–1.6), P<0.001]. After adjustment, respondents with CRS were more likely >60 years of age [OR 1.4 (1.2–1.6), P<0.001], female [OR: 1.6 (1.4–1.8), P<0.001], cigarette smokers [OR 1.3 (1.1–1.4), P<0.001] and consume alcohol [OR 1.5 (1.2–1.8), P<0.001]. Consuming on average ≤2 standard drinks per day was significantly associated with AR and CRS [OR 1.4 (1.1–1.6), P<0.001 and OR 1.5 (1.2–1.8), P<0.001, respectively]. Conclusions: AR and CRS are prevalent chronic diseases in Australia. Future studies comparing health service use, productivity and quality of life are warranted to evaluate societal impact.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Journal of Otolaryngology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

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  • Allergic rhinitis (AR)
  • Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS)
  • Epidemiology
  • Population
  • Prevalence
  • Public health


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