For example, a November 2009 study of 235 patients published in Laryngoscope (119(11):2284-2287) reported that over a four-year period both smokers and nonsmokers continued to maintain a highly significant improvement in SNOT-20 scores following ESS. The authors noted that “although smoking remains a well-documented cause of medical morbidity, smokers maintained an improvement in quality of life after long-term follow-up.” They said their findings are consistent with other prospective studies (Laryngoscope. 2005;115(12):2199-2205).
The study’s senior author, Stilianos E. Kountakis, MD, PhD, chief of rhinology at Georgia Health Sciences Health System in Augusta, Ga., told ENT Today that his team plans a follow-up evaluation that will look at QOL and SNOT-20 scores for these patients eight years after surgery.
A prospective study of 784 patients published in International Forum of Allergy and Rhinology (2011;1(3):145-152) found that smokers and nonsmokers experienced similar improvement in health-related quality of life. The authors noted, however, that while overall changes in endoscopy scores did not differ between smokers and nonsmokers, there was a significant difference in the prevalence of worsening post-operative endoscopy scores between heavy smokers (≥20 cigarettes per day), light smokers (<20 cigarettes per day) and nonsmokers (100 percent, 33 percent, and 20 percent, respectively; p = 0.002).