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Original Article


Rhinitis and its Association With Asthma in Patients Under 14 Years of Age Treated in Allergy Departments in Spain


MD Ibáñez,1 A Navarro,2 MC Sánchez,3 C Rondón,4 J Montoro,5 V Matéu,6 M Lluch-Bernal,7 B Fernández-Parra,8 MT Dordal,9 I Dávila,10 J Conde,11 E Antón,12 C Colás,13 A Valero,14,15 (SEAIC Rhinoconjunctivitis Committee)

1Department of Allergology, Hospital Infantil Universitario Niño Jesús, Madrid, Spain
2Department of Allergology, Hospital El Tomillar, AH de Valme, Sevilla, Spain
3Department of Allergology, CE Virgen de la Cinta, H. Juan Ramón Jiménez, Huelva, Spain
4Department of Allergology, Hospital Carlos Haya, Malaga, Spain
5Department of Allergology, Hospital La Plana, Villarreal, Castellón, Spain
6Department of Allergology Hospital Universitario N.S. Candelaria, Tenerife, Spain
7Department of Allergology, Complejo Hospitalario de Toledo, Toledo, Spain
8Department of Allergology, Hospital El Bierzo, Ponferrada, León, Spain
9Department of Allergology, Fundació Hospital Sant Pere Claver, Barcelona, Spain
10Department of Allergology, Hospital Universitario, Salamanca, Spain
11Department of Allergology, Hospital Virgen Macarena, Sevilla, Spain
12Department of Allergology, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander, Spain
13Department of Allergology, Hospital Clínico Universitario, Zaragoza, Spain
14Allergy Unit, Department of Pneumology, Hospital Clínic i Universitari, Barcelona, Spain
15Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red (CIBER) de Enfermedades Respiratorias, Barcelona, Spain

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2010; Vol. 20(5): 402-406



Background: Allergic rhinitis is the most frequent chronic allergic disease in children, and may be an important risk factor for the subsequent development of asthma.

Objective: To describe the characteristics of patients younger than 14 years of age presenting with rhinitis and the possible association with asthma.

Methods: We carried out a prospective, observational, descriptive, cross-sectional epidemiologic study (Alergológica 2005) of 917 patients under the age of 14 consulting for the first time in allergy departments in Spain.

Results: Rhinitis was diagnosed in 42.5% of the children. The association between asthma and rhinitis was significantly higher in children than in adults (44.9% vs 35.5%; P<.05). Time from onset of rhinitis was significantly associated with the development of asthma (2.97 vs 2.06 years; P<.0001). Allergy was the most frequent cause of rhinitis in children with and without asthma. Allergy to epithelia and fungi was more frequent in children with rhinitis and asthma than in children with rhinitis alone. We found no differences in the frequency of treatment with immunotherapy between children with and without asthma.

Conclusion: Rhinitis was frequently associated with asthma in children consulting for the first time at allergy departments. Time since onset of rhinitis and sensitivity to epithelia and fungi were associated with the development of asthma.

Key words: Allergic rhinitis in children. Rhinitis and asthma in pediatric patients.