Role of Obesity in Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases

  • Su Young Jung
  • Dong Choon Park
  • Sang Hoon Kim
  • Seung Geun YeoEmail author
Otitis (DP Skoner, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Otitis


Purpose of Review

Obesity is a major public health problem associated with various diseases. Improving obesity control and achieving greater patient satisfaction are critical unmet needs. Various otorhinolaryngologic diseases can have negative effects on quality of life or actual health status depending on their type. Over the past decade, the relationship between obesity and otorhinolaryngologic conditions has been investigated. The purpose of this review was to discuss the relationship between obesity and otorhinolaryngological diseases.

Recent Findings

This is a narrative review on the current state of incidence, effects, and associated mechanisms between obesity and otorhinolaryngologic diseases. In various otologic diseases, otitis media (OM) and hearing loss (HL) are associated with obesity. In rhinologic parts, chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) were significantly associated with obesity. Most of these diseases are reported to have higher susceptibility and severity as body mass index (BMI) increases. However, the incidence of head and neck cancer (HNC) was inversely associated with obesity, especially central adiposity. The relevance of obesity in laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LPR) and allergic rhinitis (AR) has yet to be clarified, and this remains controversial.


This review provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of incidence, effects, and associated mechanisms between obesity and otorhinolaryngologic diseases. Various otorhinolaryngological diseases are related to obesity. As obesity can be a negative risk factor in these otorhinolaryngologic diseases, early diagnosis and treatment of these diseases in obese patients will be critical.


Obesity Overweight BMI Otorhinolaryngology Head and neck cancer Related diseases 


Funding Information

This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (NRF 2017R1D1A1B3030021) (NRF-2018R1A6A1A03025124).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Su Young Jung
    • 1
  • Dong Choon Park
    • 2
  • Sang Hoon Kim
    • 3
  • Seung Geun Yeo
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Myongji HospitalHanyang University College of MedicineGoyangSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Vincent’s HospitalThe Catholic University of KoreaSuwonSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, School of MedicineKyung Hee UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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