Article

Trends in the epidemiology and prescribing of medication for allergic rhinitis in England

Ayr Hospital, UK.
Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.12). 09/2008; 101(9):466-72. DOI: 10.1258/jrsm.2008.080096
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

To investigate recent trends in the recorded incidence, lifetime prevalence and prescribing of symptom relief medication for allergic rhinitis in England.
Analysis of primary healthcare datasets.
The UK prevalence of allergic rhinitis has increased very significantly over recent decades. Analysis of primary healthcare datasets offers the possibility to advance understanding about the changing epidemiology and management of allergic rhinitis. QRESEARCH is one of the world's largest national aggregated health databases containing the records of over nine million patients. We extracted data on all patients with a recorded diagnosis of allergic rhinitis and calculated annual age-sex standardized incidence and lifetime period prevalence rates for each year from 2001-2005. We also analysed prescribing trends for antihistamines and drugs used in nasal allergy in those with a recorded diagnosis of allergic rhinitis.
Age-sex standardized incidence, lifetime prevalence rates and prescribing trends for symptom relief medication for allergic rhinitis in England.
The age-sex standardized incidence of allergic rhinitis was 5.57 per 1000 person-years in 2001 and increased by 33.0% to 7.41 per 1000 person-years in 2005 (P<0.001). Lifetime age-sex standardized prevalence of a recorded diagnosis of allergic rhinitis increased by 43.2% from 46.35 per 1000 in 2001 to 66.37 per 1000 in 2005 (P<0.001). Over this period a 41.7% overall increase in prescriptions for antihistamines and drugs used in nasal allergy was observed (antihistamines 45.5%, drugs used in nasal allergies 35.5%).
Recorded incidence and lifetime prevalence of allergic rhinitis have increased substantially in recent years. A similar increase in prescriptions for antihistamines and drugs used in nasal allergy in patients with allergic rhinitis is also observed.

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    • "In the UK, allergic diseases have an overall lifetime prevalence of about 30% in the general population, with a considerably higher prevalence in young people [1,2]. Intermittent allergic rhinitis (also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis or hayfever) affects up to 30% of adults and 40% of children at some time in their lives [2-5] Up to 80% of patients with asthma also have allergic rhinitis, and nearly 40% of those with allergic rhinitis have co-existing asthma [6,7]. Allergic rhinitis and its major co-morbidity asthma cause significant health burdens to the individual, and the impairment of quality of life experienced by patients with rhinitis is at least as severe as that of patients with asthma [8]. "
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