Disparity in rhinitis and rhinosinusitis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Health Disparities in Allergic Diseases: An Evidence-Based Look at Causes, Conditions, and Outcomes




Barriers to healthcare access; Disparities; Emergency department (ED) utilization; Rhinosinusitis; Socioeconomic status


© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020. Rhinosinusitis is defined by uncontrolled inflammation of the paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity. Rhinosinusitis, especially in its chronic form, results in significant symptoms impacting the quality of life of patients. Disparities in the medical care of patients with rhinosinusitis are not fully understood, yet important differences have been noted. Overuse of emergency department (ED) care for rhinosinusitis is likely due to barriers to outpatient healthcare access. African American patients are shown to have more ED visits for rhinosinusitis compared to other racial groups. In children with chronic rhinosinusitis, white and privately insured patients are most likely to be evaluated by specialist including tertiary care center otolaryngologist. White patients are more likely than African Americans to be seen by a specialist or receive surgery despite having similar rates of rhinosinusitis. Impertinently, lower-socioeconomic status has been associated with higher subjective chronic rhinosinusitis symptomatology which might be caused by above differences in healthcare access and use. As rhinosinusitis is a common condition with significant potential morbidity, healthcare disparities may have a large effect on a population level.