Burden of allergic rhinitis: allergies in America, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific adult surveys

Allergy Asthma Proc. Sep-Oct 2012;33 Suppl 1:S113-41. doi: 10.2500/aap.2012.33.3603. Epub 2012 Sep 13.


Allergic rhinitis (AR; also nasal allergies or "hay fever") is a chronic upper airway inflammatory disease that affects ∼60 million adults and children in the United States. The duration and severity of AR symptoms contribute to a substantial burden on patients' quality of life (QoL), sleep, work productivity, and activity. This study was designed to examine symptoms, QoL, productivity, comorbidities, disease management, and pharmacologic treatment of AR in United States and ex-U.S. sufferers. Allergies in America was a comprehensive telephone-based survey of 2500 adults with AR. These data are compared and contrasted with findings from the Pediatric Allergies in America, Allergies in Latin America, and Allergies in Asia-Pacific telephone surveys. The prevalence of physician-diagnosed AR was 14% in U.S. adults, 7% in Latin America adults, and 9% in Asia-Pacific adults. Nasal congestion is the most common and bothersome symptom for adults. Approximately two-thirds of adults rely on medication to relieve intolerable AR symptoms. Incomplete relief, slow onset, <24-hour relief, and reduced efficacy with sustained use were commonly reported with AR medications, including intranasal corticosteroids. One in seven U.S. adults reported achieving little to no relief with AR medications. Bothersome adverse effects of AR medications included drowsiness, a drying feeling, medication dripping down the throat, and bad taste. Perception of inadequate efficacy was the leading cause of medication discontinuation or change and contributed to treatment dissatisfaction. These findings support the assertion that AR burden has been substantially underestimated and identify several important challenges to successful management of AR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Americas / epidemiology
  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Rhinitis, Allergic
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult