As a potential upside to having allergic rhinitis, research shows the condition might lower a person’s risk of having a heart attack.
“Other research in the field has studied the relationship between asthma and heart disease, finding that patients with asthma have increased cardiovascular events. Yet the relationship between allergic rhinitis and heart disease is mostly unknown, which is why we wanted to learn more,” said study author Dr. Angelina Crans Yoon, who presented her findings at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology.
The researchers from California, who presented their findings at the annual American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology meeting, took approximately 110,000 people in a database with allergic rhinitis and approximately 92,000 with asthma and compared them to controls who had neither condition.
It was found that patients with allergic rhinitis had a significantly lower risk of heart attack, cerebrovascular disease (which affects blood flow to the brain), and death. However, the overall risk for cardiovascular disease in general was the same for the allergic rhinits and control groups.
At the same time, the researchers confirmed what has already been demonstrated, that patients with asthma are at an increased risk for heart disease in general. However, the study authors note that the study suggests that “atopy may not be contributing to the increased cardiovascular events seen in patients with asthma.”