Non-infectious rhinitis is more strongly associated with early—rather than late—onset of COPD: data from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS)

Joel Bergqvist, Anders Andersson, Linus Schiöler, Anna-Carin Olin, Nicola Murgia, Mogens Bove, Christer Janson, Michael J. Abramson, Bénédicte Leynaert, Dennis Nowak, Karl A. Franklin, Isabelle Pin, Torgeir Storaas, Vivi Schlünssen, Joachim Heinrich, Johan Hellgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with several co-morbidities and non-infectious rhinitis (NIR) has emerged as a new possible co-morbidity. The primary aim of this study is to confirm a previously reported association between NIR and COPD in a multicentre population over time. The secondary aim is to investigate the course over time of such an association through a comparison between early- and late-onset COPD. Methods: This study is part of the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS). A random adult population from 25 centres in Europe and one in Australia was examined with spirometry and answered a respiratory questionnaire in 1998–2002 (ECRHS II) and in 2008–2013 (ECRHS III). Symptoms of non-infectious rhinitis, hay fever and asthma, and smoking habits were reported. Subjects reporting asthma were excluded. COPD was defined as a spirometry ratio of FEV1/FVC < 0.7. A total of 5901 subjects were included. Results: Non-infectious rhinitis was significantly more prevalent in subjects with COPD compared with no COPD (48.9% vs 37.1%, p < 0.001) in ECRHS II (mean age 43) but not in ECHRS III (mean age 54). In the multivariable regression model adjusted for COPD, smoking, age, BMI, and gender, non-infectious rhinitis was associated with COPD in both ECRHS II and III. Conclusion: Non-infectious rhinitis was significantly more common in subjects with COPD at a mean age of 43. Ten years later, the association was weaker. The findings indicate that NIR could be associated with the early onset of COPD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1353-1359
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Co-morbidity
  • COPD
  • Epidemiology
  • Rhinitis
  • Spirometry

Cite this