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A Survey of Clinical Features of Allergic Rhinitis in Adults

Franco Frati, Ilaria Dell'Albani, Giovanni Passalacqua, Sergio Bonini, Oliviero Rossi, Gianenrico Senna, Cristoforo Incorvaia

Department of Medical and Scientific, Stallergenes, Milan, Italy

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:2151-2156

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.891206

Available online:

Published: 2014-11-04

Background: Allergic rhinitis (AR) has high prevalence and substantial socio-economic burden.
Material and Methods: The study included 35 Italian Centers recruiting an overall number of 3383 adult patients with rhinitis (48% males, 52% females, mean age 29.1, range 18–45 years). For each patient, the attending physician had to fill in a standardized questionnaire, covering, in particular, some issues such as the ARIA classification of allergic rhinitis (AR), the results of skin prick test (SPT), the kind of treatment, the response to treatment, and the satisfaction with treatment.
Results: Out of the 3383 patients with rhinitis, 2788 (82.4%) had AR: 311 (11.5%) had a mild intermittent, 229 (8.8%) a mild persistent, 636 (23.5%) a moderate-severe intermittent, and 1518 (56.1%) a moderate-severe persistent form. The most frequently used drugs were oral antihistamines (77.1%) and topical corticosteroids (60.8%). The response to treatment was judged as excellent in 12.2%, good in 41.3%, fair in 31.2%, poor in 14.5%, and very bad in 0.8% of subjects. The rate of treatment dissatisfaction was significantly higher in patients with moderate-to-severe AR than in patients with mild AR (p<0.0001). Indication to allergen immunotherapy (AIT) was significantly more frequent (p<0.01) in patients with severe AR than with mild AR.
Conclusions: These findings confirm the appropriateness of ARIA guidelines in classifying the AR patients and the association of severe symptoms with unsuccessful drug treatment. The optimal targeting of patients to be treated with AIT needs to be reassessed.

Keywords: Data Collection, Adult, Adolescent, Italy - epidemiology, Patient Satisfaction, Rhinitis, Allergic - pathology, Skin Tests, young adult