October 5, 2009

Regional Variations In Rhinosinusitis Shows Southerners, Women Most Frequent Outpatients

A four year study of the regional impact of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) indicates that African-Americans living in southern states account for the highest proportion of CRS outpatient treatment, according to new research presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in San Diego, CA.

The NIH-supported study, which included 4,617 patient visits for CRS, found that the prevalence of female outpatients was significantly higher than that of men in all regions. Primary care specialties (which include internal medicine, general, family practice, and pediatrics) were most frequently visited, although approximately 20 percent of visits for CRS took place in the emergency room.

The study's authors also found that Northeast-based care providers ordered significantly fewer diagnostic services, and prescribed or continued fewer medications at the patient visit for all demographics. The authors believe this indicates that further research is warranted into regional differences of diagnosis and treatment of CRS, and how this impacts management of the disease.

Rhinosinusitis is estimated to affect approximately 14 percent of the U.S. adult population annually; the patient visits chronicled in this study represent approximately 91.2 million national outpatient visits for CRS. However, CRS accounts for only 2 percent of all outpatient visits in the U.S.

Title: Regional Variations in Chronic Rhinosinusitis, 2003-2006
Author: Wendy Smith, MD; Terence Davidson, MD; Claire Murphy, PhD


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