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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 committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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