The prevalence of skin-test-positive allergic rhinitis in Danish adults: two cross-sectional surveys 8 years apart.The Copenhagen Allergy Study
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2001
Volume 55, Issue 8, pages 767–772, August 2000
How to Cite
Linneberg, A., Jørgensen, T., Nielsen, N. H., Madsen, F., Frølund, L. and Dirksen, A. (2000), The prevalence of skin-test-positive allergic rhinitis in Danish adults: two cross-sectional surveys 8 years apart.The Copenhagen Allergy Study. Allergy, 55: 767–772. doi: 10.1034/j.1398-9995.2000.00672.x
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2001
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2001
- Accepted for publication 27 April 2000
- air polution;
- allergic rhinitis;
- hay fever;
- respiratory hypersensitivity;
- skin prick test
Background: It is disputed whether increases in self-reported respiratory allergy represent a true increase or merely increased recognition. We aimed to investigate whether the prevalence of skin-prick-test (SPT)-positive allergic rhinitis had increased in an adult general population in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Methods: Two cross-sectional surveys were carried out in 1990 and 1998. A screening questionnaire on respiratory symptoms in random samples of 15–41-year-olds preceded both surveys. Among the responders, random samples were invited to a health examination including SPT. Totals of 312 (participation rate 74.6%) and 482 (participation rate 53.4%) subjects were examined in 1990 and 1998, respectively. Diagnoses of SPT-positive allergic rhinitis were based on a history of nasal symptoms on exposure to allergens and SPT positivity to allergens.
Results: The prevalence of a diagnosis of SPT-positive allergic rhinitis increased from 12.9% to 22.5% (adjusted odds ratio 1.94, 95% CI 1.30–2.90), whereas the prevalence of a positive SPT (allergen histamine wheal ratio ≥0.5) to one or more of 10 allergens increased from 27.7% to 33.9% (adjusted odds ratio 1.47, 95% CI 1.05–2.05).
Conclusions: The prevalence of SPT-positive allergic rhinitis has increased significantly. Our findings indicate that a true increase in respiratory allergy has occurred.