Occupational and Environmental Risk Factors for Chronic Rhinosinusitis in Saudi Arabia

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Abdullah A. Alarfaj
Khalid A. Alyahya
Majd A. Alsaleh
Almaha A. Aleidan
Alaa A. Alrashed
Sarah N. Alshehab
Sarah W. Albahar
Anwar M. Alsaeed


chemical exposure, chronic rhinosinusitis, environmental risk factor, occupational risk factor, severity


Background: Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a common disease and varies significantly around the world. The proper management of chronic rhinosinusitis is challenging for otorhinolaryngologists due to the variety of occupational and environmental triggers that patients can expose to which leads to flare up of the symptoms.
Objectives: To assess the occupational and environmental risk factors of chronic rhinosinusitis in Saudi Arabia.
Methodology: A prospective, qualitative, questionnaire‑based cross‑sectional study took place. Seven hundred and three Saudis and non-Saudi residents from different geographical regions in Saudi Arabia were involved in the study. An online Sino-Nasal Outcome Test-22 (SNOT-22) questionnaire is used to estimate CRS symptoms severity to assess the possible occupational and environmental risk factors of CRS. The obtained data were statistically analyzed using SPSS version 21.
Result: Seven hundred and three participants were involved in the study involving the age group from 12 to more than 60 years old. They were 467 females, and 236 males with a male to female ratio of 1.9:1. Six hundred and one of the participants showed significant symptoms according to the SNOT-22 score. Among the participants, 94.6% who have chronic diseases, and 97.8%who have respiratory
diseases showed significant symptoms of CRS. According to occupational risk factors, it is found that working in the health field or exposing to chemicals used in farming, hairdressing, or manufacturing is significantly associated with CRS. According to environmental risk factors, it is found that the method used to cook at home, exposure to a dump environment, exposure to pollution, dust, cleaning
products, chemicals, or cigarette smoking is significantly associated with CRS with symptom variation seasonally.
Conclusion: A considerable number of factors included in this study showed significant association with CRS. It would be beneficial to do additional experimental research to clarify the biological mechanisms behind the related aspects. In order to prevent and manage CRS in Saudi Arabia, we advise putting protective measures in place and raising awareness of them.

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