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Current Topics in Allergy

Epidemiology of Allergic Rhinitis in Allergy Consultations in Spain: Alergológica-2005


A Navarro1, C Colás2, E Antón3, J Conde4, I Dávila5, MT Dordal6, B Fernández-Parra7, MD Ibáñez8, M. Lluch-Bernal9, V Matheu10, J Montoro11, C Rondón12,MC Sánchez13, A Valero14,15 (Rhinoconjunctivitis Committee of the SEAIC).

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

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2009; Vol. 19, Suppl. 2: 7-13



Background: Allergic rhinitis (AR) is considered to be the most frequent allergic disorder.
Objective: To present the data from the Alergológica-2005 on the characteristics of patients with AR.

Methods: An observational, descriptive, cross-sectional epidemiologic study was performed on 4991 patients consulting for the first time in Allergology services in Spain.

Results: Fifty-five percent of patients consulting Allergology services for the fi rst time were diagnosed with AR, of whom 65% also had conjunctivitis and 37% asthma. Two out of every three subjects with AR consulted their primary care physician twice in the previous 4 months.
One third was treated by another specialist in the preceding year and one of every fi ve required treatment in emergency departments. AR affected the quality of life (SF-12), in some cases causing time off work and school. The most frequently involved allergens were pollens (51%), followed by dust mites (42%). Polysensitization was found in 31% of cases. Antihistamines and nasal topical corticoids were the most widely used drugs. In 38% of patients, treatment with specific immunotherapy was begun.

Conclusions: AR was the leading cause of consultations in Alergológica-2005. Rhinitis was frequently associated with other allergic disorders in 65% of patients with conjunctivitis and 37% with asthma. The illness led to a substantial use of healthcare resources and significantly affected the quality of life of the sufferers.

Key words: Allergic rhinitis. Rhinoconjunctivitis. Quality of life. Healthcare resources. Treatment.