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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

Findings indicate that early treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis may prevent development of irreversible lung disease

DANVILLE, Pa. – Geisinger researchers have discovered a link between chronic sinus disease and bronchiectasis, a chronic and progressive lung disease.


The findings, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, are the first to indicate that chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) increases the risk of developing bronchiectasis, and suggest that early treatment of CRS could prevent it.


Bronchiectasis is a chronic, irreversible disease of the airways. The condition commonly occurs in people with cystic fibrosis, asthma, or immunodeficiency disorders, and people with bronchiectasis experience cycles of inflammation and infection that cause long-term damage to the respiratory system. Prior research has found that CRS and bronchiectasis are present in the same patients, but these studies were not designed to evaluate which condition preceded the other or whether there is a causal connection.


For their study, the Geisinger research team evaluated electronic medical record data for 5,329 Geisinger patients with bronchiectasis. CRS was consistently and strongly associated with a diagnosis of bronchiectasis, and on average, was identified more than six years prior to diagnosis.


“This study has important clinical implications, as it is evidence that early treatment of sinus disease may offer therapeutic strategies for the prevention of bronchiectasis,” said Annemarie Hirsch, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor at Geisinger and a co-author of the study. 

About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the non-profit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 134 care sites - including 10 hospital campuses, and Geisinger Health Plan, with 600,000 members in commercial and government plans. The Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $14 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country.  Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

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