Data from a population based case control study in western Washington were analysed to determine whether the use of nasal sprays and drops was associated with an increased risk of sinonasal cancer. Telephone interviews were conducted with incident cases (n = 53) diagnosed between 1979 and 1983 or their next-of-kin, and with controls (n = 552) regarding their past use of nasal preparations, history of rhinologic problems, smoking history, alcohol consumption, and a number of other known or suspected risk factors. Both cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption were associated with an increased risk of sinonasal cancer; the strongest associations were found with squamous cell tumours. Subjects who reported a history of nasal preparation use were 3.5 times (95% confidence interval = 1.7-7.0) more likely than non-users to develop sinonasal cancer. The risk of sinonasal cancer increased with increasing duration of use of nasal preparations. These findings suggest the need for a more detailed investigation of the possible adverse consequences of long-term use of nasal preparations.
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