Airborne pollution associated with more severe rhinitis symptoms

Airborne pollution associated with more severe rhinitis symptoms

News from ISGlobal

The nasal symptoms of rhinitis are more severe in people exposed to higher levels of outdoor air pollution. That was the conclusion reached by the authors of a study led by a team of scientists from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal).

ISGlobal researcher Bénédicte Jacquemin, who headed up the study, explains the logic behind it: "Rhinitis is associated with asthma, which is closely linked to air pollution. That is why we thought it would be interesting to investigate whether long-term exposure to air pollution also plays a determining role in rhinitis".

The study analysed data from 1,408 patients with rhinitis from 17 different European cities, including Barcelona and Oviedo (Spain), Paris (France), Antwerp (Belgium), Umea (Sweden) and Erfurt (Germany). The participants answered a questionnaire regarding the severity of each one of their rhinitis symptoms and the extent to which the condition interferes with their day-to-day lives. Data on the airborne pollution levels to which each participant was exposed was obtained from the European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects (ESCAPE), a project in which ISGlobal also participated.


Burte E, Leynaert B, Marcon A et al. Long-term air pollution exposure is associated with increased severity of rhinitis in two European cohorts. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. January 2020.

More information:
ISGlobal website