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Analysis of smoking behaviour in patients with peritonsillar abscess: a prospective, matched case–control study

  • D Schwarz (a1), P Wolber (a1), M Balk (a1) and J C Luers (a1)



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.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Dr David Schwarz, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Medical Faculty, University of Cologne, Cologne 50924, Germany E-mail: Fax: +49 221 478 4793


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Dr D Schwarz takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper



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  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
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