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Comparing the effectiveness of nasal dilator strips: does race play a role?

  • A W Kam (a1) (a2), E Pratt (a2) (a3) and R J Harvey (a1) (a2) (a4)



Nasal dilator strips are thought to widen and stiffen the anterior nasal cavity, and thus improve symptoms of nasal obstruction. It is postulated that anthropomorphic differences in external nasal proportions between races may influence the effectiveness of such dilator strips.


Caucasian and Asian subjects were compared. Nasal peak inspiratory flow, nasal airway resistance, minimum cross-sectional area and visual analogue scale measurements of nasal obstruction were recorded at baseline and following the application of two different dilator strips.


Nine Caucasian and six Asian subjects were recruited (n = 15). There was a significant difference between races in terms of nasal peak inspiratory flow improvements following nasal strip application (mean of 29.4 litres per minute in Caucasians vs 14.6 litres per minute in Asians; p = 0.04). Only Caucasians experienced a significant decrease in nasal airway resistance (median of 0.12 Pa/cm3/s; p < 0.01).


Nasal peak inspiratory flow, minimum cross-sectional area and visual analogue scale values improved from baseline with strip application in both populations. Only Caucasians experienced significant nasal airway resistance improvement with strip application. Both cohorts experienced nasal peak inspiratory flow improvement, with Caucasians experiencing a significantly larger improvement.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr Andrew Kam, St. Vincent's Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Level 5, deLacy Building, St. Vincent's Hospital, Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010, Australia Fax: +61 2 9283 3411 E-mail:


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Comparing the effectiveness of nasal dilator strips: does race play a role?

  • A W Kam (a1) (a2), E Pratt (a2) (a3) and R J Harvey (a1) (a2) (a4)


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