Nasal symptoms increase the risk of snoring and snoring increases the risk of nasal symptoms. A longitudinal population study

Maria Värendh, Christer Janson, Caroline Bengtsson, Johan Hellgren, Mathias Holm, Vivi Schlünssen, Ane Johannessen, Karl Franklin, Torgeir Storaas, Rain Jõgi, Thorarinn Gislason, Eva Lindberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


Purpose: Humans have a preference for nasal breathing during sleep. This 10-year prospective study aimed to determine if nasal symptoms can predict snoring and also if snoring can predict development of nasal symptoms. The hypothesis proposed is that nasal symptoms affect the risk of snoring 10 years later, whereas snoring does not increase the risk of developing nasal symptoms. Methods: In the cohort study, Respiratory Health in Northern Europe (RHINE), a random population from Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, born between 1945 and 1973, was investigated by postal questionnaires in 1999–2001 (RHINE II, baseline) and in 2010–2012 (RHINE III, follow-up). The study population consisted of the participants who had answered questions on nasal symptoms such as nasal obstruction, discharge, and sneezing, and also snoring both at baseline and at follow-up (n = 10,112). Results: Nasal symptoms were frequent, reported by 48% of the entire population at baseline, with snoring reported by 24%. Nasal symptoms at baseline increased the risk of snoring at follow-up (adj. OR 1.38; 95% CI 1.22–1.58) after adjusting for age, sex, BMI change between baseline and follow-up, and smoking status. Snoring at baseline was associated with an increased risk of developing nasal symptoms at follow-up (adj. OR 1.22; 95% CI 1.02–1.47). Conclusion: Nasal symptoms are independent risk factors for development of snoring 10 years later, and surprisingly, snoring is a risk factor for the development of nasal symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1851-1857
JournalSleep and Breathing
Issue number4
Early online date2021 Jan 19
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy
  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology


  • Epidemiology
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Sleep
  • Snoring


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