Prevalence of Allergic Sensitization versus Allergic Rhinitis Symptoms in an Unselected Population

Upper Airways Research Laboratory, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
International Archives of Allergy and Immunology (Impact Factor: 2.43). 09/2012; 160(2):200-207. DOI: 10.1159/000339853
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Background: Allergic rhinitis (AR) is the most common allergic disorder and its prevalence has significantly increased worldwide, nowadays affecting up to 40% of the population in young adults. The objective of the present survey was to evaluate the prevalence of allergic sensitization and the prevalence of clinically diagnosed AR in a sample of the Belgian population, and to estimate the effect of age and gender. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional population-based study at an annual public fair in Ghent. Participants underwent a skin prick test (SPT) to 3 aeroallergens: a mix of trees (hazel, alder, and birch), grass pollen, and house dust mite (HDM). The clinical relevance of sensitization was assessed by relating relevant symptoms of AR to the corresponding SPT. Results: A total of 2,320 participants (1,475 females, median age 44.7 years, range 3-86) were included in this study. The standardized prevalence rates of sensitization were 13.2% for tree mix, 25.9% for grass pollen, and 25.9% for HDM. Sensitization to at least one of the allergens was present in 40.3% of the subjects. Symptomatic sensitization related to trees was reported in 9.7% of cases, grass-related AR was 17.6%, and HDM-related AR was 17.1%. The overall prevalence of AR was 30.9%. Conclusion: In this study we demonstrated a 40.3% prevalence of a positive SPT to one or more common aeroallergens. A clinical diagnosis of AR was present in 30.9% of cases, peaking in the third and fourth decades of life. It is to be expected that in the next decades, when this generation grows older, the general AR prevalence will further increase.

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    ABSTRACT: To review the recent literature on risk factors for chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) with an emphasis on genetic, comorbid diseases and environmental factors associated with CRS. Through identifying potential risk factors for CRS, we aim to glean insights into the underlying pathogenic mechanisms essential for developing effective therapeutic strategies. Recent findings demonstrate that genetics and comorbid medical conditions including airway diseases, gastroesophageal reflux disease, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, and various demographic and environmental factors are associated with having a CRS diagnosis. Limitations of current studies include variable application of disease definitions, lack of prospective longitudinal studies and a disproportionate focus on tertiary care populations. CRS has a broad spectrum of associations ranging from genetics to comorbid diseases and environmental factors. These predisposing factors may provide valuable information for possible designing of therapeutic and preventive interventions. However, to better understand whether these associations cause CRS, further studies are needed to independently replicate findings, establish temporal relationships between exposure and disease onset, evaluate the influence of exposure dose on disease severity, and to understand the biological effects of these risk factors in the context of CRS.
    Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology 12/2014; 15(1). DOI:10.1097/ACI.0000000000000128 · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Many studies worldwide have reported prevalence of atopic sensitization and its international variations. A positive skin prick reaction, however, does not always correlate with clinical symptoms. Positive skin tests (SPT) reveal rather atopy - specific IgE presence, than an atopic disease itself. When combined clinical manifestation and SPT are a powerful instrument for defining allergic diseases. Such data for Bulgaria are, however, scarce. The objective of the present study is to assess prevalence patterns and clinical relevance of sensitization to environmental and food allergens in a cross-sectional community sample in Bulgaria. Methodology and results: Patients, 225 men and women, age 4-81 years, were included. They completed a questionnaire to define asthma and rhinitis. Patients were skin prick tested to 18 commercial inhalant and food allergen extracts. The clinical relevance of each of the positively tested allergens was assessed. Among 225 patients 129 (57.3%) were sensitized to at least one allergen, using cut-off level ≥3 mm. In the inhalant allergens group the highest were rates of sensitization to 12 grasses – 26.6% and 4 cereals – 24.0%, followed by these to DFR – 18.2%, DPT – 17.8% and cockroach -16.4%. Among food allergens the highest rates of sensitizations were found to pork – 16.9%, walnut – 15.1%, apple – 13.3%, egg whole – 10.7%, celery – 9.8% and milk – 9.3%. The highest proportions of relevant tests in the inhalant allergens group were for DPT - 72.2%, DFR - 62.9%, 4 cereals - 69.2%, 12 grasses - 69%, Penicillium mix – 61.9, cockroach - 54.8%, Betulaceae - 52.4%. Among food allergens the highest proportions of relevant sensitization were found for walnut – 32.3%, peanut 29.4%, Milk - 22.2%, egg whole - 21.1%. Conclusions: We found rates and patterns of sensitization which were in line with data from other studies. The percentage of clinically relevant sensitizations differed significantly depending on the allergen.
    Journal of Clinical Medicine Research 07/2014; DOI:10.12691/ajcmr-2-3-3


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May 23, 2014