Reduced work/academic performance and quality of life in patients with allergic rhinitis and impact of allergen immunotherapy

Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2016 Aug 11;12:40. doi: 10.1186/s13223-016-0146-9. eCollection 2016.


Background: Allergic rhinitis (AR) is characterised by burdensome nasal and/or ocular symptoms. This inflammatory disease can be debilitating and thus result in considerable health-related and economic consequences.

Methods: In a cross-sectional study, adult subjects with AR (N = 683) completed three allergy-specific questionnaires that assessed the impact of AR on the work/academic performance, daily activities, health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and satisfaction with allergen immunotherapy (AIT). Regression analyses were used to examine the associations between several clinical variables and the patient-reported outcomes.

Results: Total loss of productivity was 21.0 and 21.2 % for employed and student patients, respectively, whereas the impairment of daily activities was 22.0 %. The mean overall HRQOL score was 1.94 ± 1.29 (on the scale of 0-6 points). Global score for satisfaction with AIT was 65.5 ± 24.8 (on a 0-100 scale). Simple regression analysis found statistically significant associations between loss of work and academic productivity, impairment of daily activities and the type and severity of AR. AIT was a protective factor. The persistent and more severe types of AR and lack of AIT contributed to the worsening of HRQOL.

Conclusions: AR (the persistent and more severe form of the disease) has an impact on functional characteristics of adult patients in Spain. AIT might reduce the effect of this disease on the work/academic performance and HRQOL. Trial registration Retrospectively registered.

Keywords: Allergen immunotherapy; Allergic rhinitis; Daily activities; Productivity; Quality of life.