The Impact of Social Determinants and Air Pollution on Healthcare Disparities in Chronic Rhinosinusitis With Nasal Polyps

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



American journal of rhinology & allergy








air pollution; chronic rhinosinusitis; healthcare disparities; nasal polyps; race; socioeconomic status


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Multiple factors affect healthcare disparities in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) with and without nasal polyps. These factors include access to care, economic burdens to treatment, and differences in air pollution and air quality. In this paper, we will discuss how socioeconomic status, race, and air pollution burden influence healthcare disparities in the diagnosis and treatment outcomes of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP). METHODS: A literature search was performed via PubMed for articles related to CRSwNP, healthcare disparities, race, socioeconomic status, and air pollution in September 2022. Original studies from 2016 to 2022, landmark articles, and systematic reviews were included. We summarized these articles to cohesively discuss factors contributing to healthcare disparities in CRSwNP. RESULTS: Literary search produced 35 articles. Individual factors such as socioeconomic status, race, and air pollution influence CRSwNP severity and treatment outcomes. Correlations were noted with socioeconomic status, race, and air pollution exposure and CRS severity and post-surgical outcomes. Air pollution exposure was also associated with histopathologic changes in CRSwNP. Lack of access to care was a notable contributor to healthcare disparities in CRS. CONCLUSION: Healthcare disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of CRSwNP differentially affect racial minorities and individuals of lower socioeconomic status. Increased air pollution exposure in areas of lower socioeconomic status is a compounding factor. Clinician advocacy for greater healthcare access and reductions in environmental exposures for patients, among other societal changes, may help improve disparities.