Nasal congestion can mean severe asthma

Dec 20, 2010

Nasal congestion can be a sign of severe asthma, which means that healthcare professionals should be extra vigilant when it comes to nasal complaints. Furthermore, more severe asthma appears to be more common than previously thought, reveals a study from the Sahlgrenska Academy's Krefting Research Centre.

Published in the online scientific journal Respiratory Research, the population study included 30,000 randomly selected participants from the west of Sweden and asked questions about different aspects of health.

"This is the first time that the prevalence of severe asthma has been estimated in a population study, documenting that approximately 2% of the population in the West Sweden is showing signs of severe asthma," says Jan Lötvall, one of the authors of the study and professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy's Krefting Research Centre. "This argues that more severe forms of asthma are far more common than previously believed, and that healthcare professionals should pay extra attention to patients with such symptoms.

"We also found that more pronounced nasal symptoms, such as chronic rhinosinusitis, in other words nasal congestion and a runny nose for a long period of time, can be linked to more severe asthma."

Jan Lötvall suggests that patients who report nasal complaints, perhaps together with minor symptoms from the lower respiratory tract, such as wheezing, shortness of breath during physical effort, and night-time awakings because of breathing problems – should be investigated for asthma.

"These findings suggest that some parts of the immune system that are activated in connection with chronic nasal problems might be linked to severe asthma, and this insight could lead to new forms of treatment in the long run," says Lötvall. "Effective treatment for troublesome nasal and sinus complaints could, in theory, reduce the risk of severe asthma, though this is something that needs further research."

These results increase our understanding of the factors that play a role in severe asthma, and could help clinical researchers to understand which mechanisms lead to more . At the same time, Lötvall believes that healthcare professionals should be aware of the possibility of severe in patients showing signs of nasal problems, such as congestion, polyps and a poor sense of smell.

Explore further: More effective kidney stone treatment, from the macroscopic to the nanoscale

More information: Download the article from: respiratory-research.com/content/11/1/163

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bacteria to blame in asthma attacks in children

Oct 07, 2010

Doctors have long known that viral infections can bring about asthma attacks and the shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing associated with them. But while viral infections cannot be treated, scientists at the Danish ...

Research and insights on severe asthma in children

Sep 09, 2010

A subset of children with asthma suffers from severe, treatment-resistant disease associated with more illness and greater allergic hypersensitivity, according to the results of the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute's ...

Recommended for you

Researchers discover target for treating dengue fever

53 minutes ago

Two recent papers by a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher and colleagues may help scientists develop treatments or vaccines for Dengue fever, West Nile virus, Yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and other ...

Tracking flu levels with Wikipedia

1 hour ago

Can monitoring Wikipedia hits show how many people have the flu? Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital, USA, have developed a method of estimating levels of influenza-like illness in the American population by analysing ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

New pain relief targets discovered

Scientists have identified new pain relief targets that could be used to provide relief from chemotherapy-induced pain. BBSRC-funded researchers at King's College London made the discovery when researching ...

Study recalculates costs of combination vaccines

One of the most popular vaccine brands for children may not be the most cost-effective choice. And doctors may be overlooking some cost factors when choosing vaccines, driving the market toward what is actually a more expensive ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus ne ...

Researchers discover target for treating dengue fever

Two recent papers by a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher and colleagues may help scientists develop treatments or vaccines for Dengue fever, West Nile virus, Yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and other ...