Prevalence, classification and perception of allergic and nonallergic rhinitis in Belgium
Article first published online: 5 MAY 2006
Volume 61, Issue 6, pages 693–698, June 2006
How to Cite
Bachert, C., Van Cauwenberge, P., Olbrecht, J. and Van Schoor, J. (2006), Prevalence, classification and perception of allergic and nonallergic rhinitis in Belgium. Allergy, 61: 693–698. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2006.01054.x
- Issue published online: 5 MAY 2006
- Article first published online: 5 MAY 2006
- Accepted for publication 10 December 2005
- allergic rhinitis;
- ARIA classification;
- non-allergic rhinitis;
Background: Allergic rhinitis (AR) and noninfectious, nonallergic rhinitis (NINA) are common disorders, which may prompt patients to seek medical help.
Methods: We performed a survey in a representative sample of the Belgian population (n = 4959) with an overall prevalence of self-declared recent rhinitis symptoms of 39.3%. Detailed information on patients having experienced nasal symptoms over the past year was then obtained from a random sample of respondents (n = 743).
Results: The adjusted prevalence was 29.8% for AR and 9.6% for NINA, respectively. According to the ARIA classification, there was significantly more ‘persistent’ symptomatology in the AR group (40.8%) than in NINA (23.5%) (P < 0.001), and more ‘moderate/severe’ symptom intensity in AR (75.4%) than in NINA (53.1%) (P < 0.001). Allergic rhinitis patients suffered from a greater number of symptoms than NINA patients (P < 0.001). Asthma, skin and food allergy as co-morbidities were all found to be significantly more prevalent in the AR vs the NINA group (P < 0.05 for all). The percentage of consulting patients (total: 66.8%), who subjectively perceived their rhinitis as moderate/severe, was 94.0%, whereas 75.6% of these patients were classified accordingly based on ARIA criteria.
Conclusions: We found a high prevalence of self-declared rhinitis symptoms in the Belgian population, AR being about three times more prevalent than NINA. In addition, AR patients suffered from a greater number of symptoms and displayed a more ‘persistent’ and ‘moderate–severe’ ARIA profile than NINA. About 75% of patients seeking medical help suffer from ‘moderate to severe’ forms of rhinitis.