Sinus problems linked to higher risk of joint and muscle pain

Credit: Unsplash+.

Sinusitis, a common condition that causes the sinuses to become inflamed, could be more than just a temporary annoyance.

Recent research suggests it might actually increase the risk of developing certain types of diseases related to the joints and muscles later on.

This finding comes from a study that looked into the health histories of people living in a specific area in Minnesota, shedding new light on the connection between sinus issues and more serious health conditions.

Sinusitis happens when the lining of the sinuses, which are small, air-filled spaces behind your cheekbones and forehead, gets inflamed. It’s something a lot of people experience, especially when they have a cold or allergies.

Scientists have known for a while that things like air pollution and getting sick a lot can make people more likely to get rheumatoid arthritis, a disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own joints.

But they weren’t sure if sinusitis could also make people more likely to get other kinds of diseases where the immune system attacks the body, known as rheumatic diseases.

To find out more, researchers did a study using medical records from over half a million people who lived in Olmsted County, Minnesota, at some time between 1966 and 2014. They focused on 1,729 adults who were diagnosed with a rheumatic disease for the first time.

These diseases included rheumatoid arthritis, antiphospholipid syndrome (a blood clotting disorder), and Sjögren’s syndrome (which affects the production of tears and saliva), among others. Each person with a disease was compared to three people without any rheumatic diseases, matching them by age and sex.

The study looked at how many of the participants had sinusitis before they were diagnosed with a rheumatic disease. They found that having sinusitis seemed to raise the risk of getting a rheumatic disease by 40%.

This risk was even higher for certain diseases: people with sinusitis were seven times more likely to get antiphospholipid syndrome and more than twice as likely to get Sjögren’s syndrome.

Interestingly, the link between sinusitis and rheumatic diseases was strongest in the five to ten years before people started showing symptoms of their rheumatic disease. And the more episodes of sinusitis someone had, the higher their risk of getting a rheumatic disease.

For example, people who had sinusitis seven or more times were almost five times as likely to be diagnosed with a systemic autoimmune disease.

The researchers also found that people who never smoked had a stronger connection between sinusitis and developing rheumatic diseases. However, it’s important to note that this was an observational study, so it can’t prove that sinusitis causes rheumatic diseases.

There might be other factors at play, and there’s a chance that having a rheumatic disease could make someone more likely to get sinusitis.

Despite these uncertainties, the study suggests that the bacteria involved in sinusitis might play a role in the development of rheumatic diseases. Sinusitis can also speed up the hardening of the arteries, which could contribute to the inflammation seen in these diseases.

All in all, the findings suggest that inflammation in the sinuses might be an important factor in the development of rheumatic diseases, highlighting a surprising connection between what seems like a minor health issue and more serious conditions.

If you care about muscle, please read studies about factors that can cause muscle weakness in older people, and scientists find a way to reverse high blood sugar and muscle loss.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about an easy, cheap way to maintain muscles, and results showing these vegetables essential for your muscle strength.

The research findings can be found in RMD Open.

Copyright © 2024 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.