Smoking is purported to increase the risk of peritonsillar abscess formation, but prospective data are needed to confirm this hypothesis. This prospective study aimed to identify this correlation.
Fifty-four patients with peritonsillar abscess were prospectively asked about their smoking behaviour using a questionnaire that was designed and approved by the Robert Koch Institute (Berlin, Germany) to analyse smoking behaviour in epidemiological studies. Afterwards, a consecutive control group (without peritonsillar abscess), matched in terms of age and gender, was surveyed using the same questionnaire. A classification of smoker, former smoker and non-smoker was made, and the numbers of pack-years were calculated and compared.
Statistical analysis of both groups revealed a significant correlation between peritonsillar abscess and smoking experience (p = 0.025). Moreover, there were significantly fewer non-smokers in the non-peritonsillar abscess group (p = 0.04). The number of pack-years was higher in the peritonsillar abscess group (p = 0.037).
There is a statistically significant association between peritonsillar abscess and smoking.
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