Background: Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a highly prevalent allergic disease and also counts among the 10 most frequent reasons for medical consultation. Its impact on quality of life (QoL) and work productivity has been established but comparisons with other diseases are rare in the literature. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of AR in health-related QoL (HRQoL) and work productivity in primary care patients, compared with other prevalent diseases such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus (DM) type II, and symptomatic depression.
Methods: Six hundred sixteen patients were included in a multicenter cross-sectional observational study. A generic HRQoL questionnaire, 36-item Short Form, and a specific questionnaire, "Work Productivity and Activity Impairment" were handed out to measure QoL and work productivity impact of the diseases. To assess clinical severity with a comparable scale between diseases Clinical Global Impression (CGI) had been used.
Results: Symptomatic depression was found to produce the greatest impairment on work productivity with a decrease of 59.5%, with significant differences compared with AR, hypertension, and DM type II (p < 0.05). Symptomatic depression was found to produce the highest negative impact on daily activities with a statistically significant reduction of 59.4% (p < 0.05) compared with AR (26.6% decrease), hypertension (8.8% decrease), and DM (16.7% decrease) patients. Differences between AR and DM or hypertension were also significant (p < 0.05). Restriction on daily activities for AR was 27.8%, which is significantly higher (p < 0.05) than hypertension (19.8% decrease) but not DM (25.7% decrease). Depression had the highest impairment on daily activities (59.4%), compared with the remaining three groups (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: AR impairs work productivity in a greater magnitude than hypertension and DM type II.