According to a new study published in the journal Head & Neck, researchers in Taiwan have found that patients with allergic rhinitis may have an increased risk of developing nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
For the study, researchers from the National Defense Medical Center in Taipei, Taiwan, analyzed data from 67,532 patients with allergic rhinitis and 135,054 age- and sex-matched controls from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database.
Results showed that patients with allergic rhinitis had a 2.33-fold increased risk of developing nasopharyngeal carcinoma compared to their matched controls.
In addition, researchers found that patients who had four or more visits to their healthcare provider for allergic rhinitis had a significantly increased risk of developing nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
The authors note that the underlying mechanism for the association is unknown, but hypothesize that a malignant change may occur due to chronic repeated airway stimulation and inflammation, epithelial cell changes, and reduced mucociliary clearance.
The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be approximately 3,200 new cases of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in the United States in 2015. Despite being fairly rare in the United States, nasopharyngeal carcinoma is more more common in certain parts of Asia and North Africa, and among recent Chinese and Hmong immigrants in the United States.
Patients with allergic rhinitis may have an increased risk of developing nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), according to a Taiwanese study published in the March issue of Head & Neck.