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Alergológica 2015: A National Survey on Allergic Diseases in the Adult Spanish Population

Ojeda P1, Sastre J2, Olaguibel JM3, Chivato T4

On behalf of the investigators participating in the National Survey of the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology Alergológica 2015.

1Clínica de Asma y Alergia Dres. Ojeda, Madrid, Spain
2Servicio de Alergia, Hospital Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Madrid, Spain
3Servicio de Alergia, Complejo Hospitalario de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
4Facultad de Medicina, Universidad San Pablo CEU, Madrid, Spain

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2018; Vol 28(3) : 151-164
doi: 10.18176/jiaci.0264

Background: The frequency of allergic diseases is increasing worldwide, particularly in industrialized countries. From a clinical, management, and public heath perspective, it is important to determine the reasons for consulting an allergist, the distribution by frequency of allergic diseases, and how health care is provided.
Objective: Alergológica 2015 was carried out to obtain information on clinical practice in allergy departments in Spain, and compare it with the previous study editions.
Methods: The data cover the year 2014 and the first quarter of 2015. The target sample was 6000 patients seen at public and private centers throughout Spain. A total of 500 allergists were invited to participate. Data were collected on an electronic case report form. Data were compared with the Alergológica surveys for 1992 and 2005 to identify differences.
Results: The final study population comprised 2914 patients (mean age 33.6 [18.9] years, 58% women, 17% children), of whom 6.1% were foreign-born. The frequency distribution was as follows: rhinitis, 62%; asthma, 23.4%; drug allergy, 17.7%; urticaria/angioedema, 11.5%; food allergy, 10.4%; contact dermatitis, 4%; atopic dermatitis, 3%; insect venom allergy, 2%. A statistically significant increase was observed between data from 2005 and from 2015 with respect to the prevalence for allergic rhinitis, food allergy and drug hypersensitivity. An increase in the prevalence of a personal history of asthma, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and eczema/atopic dermatitis were also observed. Besides, the number of relevant allergens in the same patient also increased. Most patients were referred from primary care, although a considerable percentage were referred by ENT specialists and dermatologists.
Conclusions: Increasing trends were observed for allergic rhinitis, drug allergy, and food allergy, and a decreasing trend was observed for asthma. Findings for other diseases remained practically unchanged. Allergic patients are increasingly complex and present with a myriad of atopic manifestations.

Key words: Allergic rhinitis, Allergic diseases, Asthma, Food allergy, Drug hypersensitivity, Epidemiology, Prevalence