Rhinitis in pregnant women with asthma is associated with poorer asthma control and quality of life

J Asthma. 2015;52(10):1023-30. doi: 10.3109/02770903.2015.1054403. Epub 2015 Sep 12.


Objective: To describe the pattern and severity of rhinitis in pregnancy and the impact rhinitis has on asthma control and quality of life (QoL) in pregnant women with asthma.

Methods: Two hundred and eighteen non-smoking pregnant women with asthma were participants in a randomised controlled trial of exhaled nitric oxide guided treatment adjustment. Rhinitis was assessed using a visual analogue scale (VAS) scored from 0 to 10 and classified as current (VAS > 2.5), moderate/severe versus mild (VAS > 6 vs <5), atopic versus non-atopic and pregnancy rhinitis. At baseline, women completed the 20-Item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT20), asthma-specific (AQLQ-M) QoL questionnaires and the Six-Item Short-Form State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-6). Asthma control was assessed using the asthma control questionnaire (ACQ). Perinatal outcomes were collected after delivery.

Results: Current rhinitis was present in 142 (65%) women including 45 (20%) women who developed pregnancy rhinitis. Women with current rhinitis had higher scores for ACQ (p = 0.004), SNOT20 (p < 0.0001) and AQLQ-M (p < 0.0001) compared to women with no rhinitis. Current rhinitis was associated with increased anxiety symptoms (p = 0.002), rhinitis severity was associated with higher ACQ score (p = 0.004) and atopic rhinitis was associated with poorer lung function (p = 0.037). Rhinitis symptom severity improved significantly during gestation (p < 0.0001). There was no impact on perinatal outcomes. Improved asthma control was associated with improvement in rhinitis.

Conclusion: Rhinitis in pregnant women with asthma is common and associated with poorer asthma control, sino-nasal and asthma-specific QoL impairment and anxiety. In the context of active asthma management there was significant improvement in rhinitis symptoms and severity as pregnancy progressed.

Keywords: Asthma control; pregnancy; quality of life; rhinitis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma / psychology*
  • Breath Tests
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Nitric Oxide / analysis
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Quality of Life
  • Rhinitis / epidemiology*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic / epidemiology
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Nitric Oxide