Impairment in quality of life is directly related to the level of allergen exposure and allergic airway inflammation

Clin Exp Allergy. 2005 Oct;35(10):1295-300. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2005.02333.x.


Background: Allergic disease has been shown to impair health-related quality of life (HRQL). The relationship between HRQL and either allergen exposure or allergic inflammation has not been previously assessed.

Objective: To assess the relationship between HRQL and both grass pollen exposure and airway inflammation using the Paediatric Allergic Disease Quality of Life Questionnaire (PADQLQ). This is a novel questionnaire previously developed to assess the multi-system aspects of allergic disease.

Methods: Eighty-four subjects, aged 6-17 years, with seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma and/or cutaneous manifestations were assessed before and during the grass pollen season. They were assessed with the PADQLQ, a visual analogue scale (VAS) to assess quality of life, symptom diary and exhaled nitric oxide (FENO).

Results: HRQL, as measured by the PADQLQ, significantly correlated with the average pollen count in the previous week (regression coefficient 0.038, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.027-0.049, P<0.001). The PADQLQ score was also found to be significantly associated with airway inflammation as measured by FENO (regression coefficient 0.410, 95% CI 0.175-0.646, P=0.001). Additionally, PADQLQ showed a high degree of correlation with symptom scores and quality of life as measured by a VAS, good within-subject reliability and a small minimal important difference (0.20, 95% CI -0.09 to 0.49 on a seven-point scale).

Conclusion: HRQL is related to both allergen load and allergic inflammation and the PADQLQ has excellent cross-sectional and longitudinal validity with respect to quality of life and symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Allergens / adverse effects*
  • Allergens / analysis
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Asthma / rehabilitation
  • Child
  • Conjunctivitis, Allergic / etiology
  • Conjunctivitis, Allergic / rehabilitation
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide / analysis
  • Poaceae
  • Pollen / adverse effects
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of Life*
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / rehabilitation*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / etiology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / rehabilitation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Allergens
  • Nitric Oxide