Background Allergic rhinitis (AR) and asthma frequently coexist but has rarely been evaluated in children.
Objective This prospective study aimed to estimate the prevalence of AR in asthmatic children, and ascertain whether AR is a risk factor for the severity of asthma.
Methods The questionnaire, modified from the adult form of the score for allergic rhinitis (SFAR), was completed by 404 asthmatic children aged 3–18 years seen in the outpatient clinic between June 2005 and July 2007. Each item was assigned a number of points with a final score ranging from 0 to 17. AR and asthma were classified according to ARIA and GINA 2004 recommendations, respectively.
Results AR was diagnosed in 237 patients (58.7%). It was intermittent in 57.8% of the patients and persistent in 42.2%. A total score 9 was discriminant for AR (sensitivity=91.1%, specificity=95.2%, positive predictive value=96.4%, negative predictive value=88.3%, Youden's Index=0.86). The proportion of children having mild or moderate-to-severe asthma was independent of the presence of AR, 61.6% of moderate-to-severe asthmatic children and 55.4% of intermittent and mild asthmatic children having AR.
Conclusion AR and asthma are frequently associated (58.7%). The SFAR adapted for children seems to be a simple and a reliable tool to detect AR in asthmatic children.