• allergic rhinitis;
  • asthma;
  • child;
  • school-aged;
  • asthma exacerbation;
  • retrospective study

Ruokonen M, Kaila M, Haataja R, Korppi M, Paassilta M. Allergic rhinitis in school-aged children with asthma – still under-diagnosed and under-treated? A retrospective study in a children‘s hospital. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2010: 21: e149–e154. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S

Allergic rhinitis (AR) and asthma can be considered as manifestations of the same disease entity. The treatment of AR may improve also asthma symptoms. The aim of the study was to evaluate, how often AR is diagnosed and treated in patients with asthma. A retrospective chart review in the allergy and asthma unit of a secondary paediatric hospital. From 903 eligible 7- to 15-year-old children with doctor-diagnosed asthma, 372 were randomly included in the study. In all, 229 patients (61.6%, 95% CI: 56.5–66.4%) had symptoms presumptive for AR. The diagnosis of AR was recorded in the patient records only for 87 patients (23.4%, 95% CI: 19.4–28.0). There was evidence that children with AR or nasal symptoms had more severe asthma; 35% of the patients with AR, 23% with nasal symptoms without AR diagnosis and 12% without nasal symptoms required inhaled steroids and long-acting beta-agonists for asthma (p = 0.035). AR was both under-diagnosed and under-treated in school-aged children with doctor-diagnosed asthma.