Symptom control and health-related quality of life in allergic rhinitis with and without comorbid asthma: A multicentre European study

Clin Transl Allergy. 2023 Feb;13(2):e12209. doi: 10.1002/clt2.12209.

Abstract

Background: Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a major non-communicable disease that affects the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patients. However, data on HRQoL and symptom control in AR patients with comorbid asthma (AR + asthma) are lacking.

Methods: In this multicentre, cross-sectional study, patients with AR were screened and administered questionnaires of demographic characteristics and health conditions (symptoms/diagnosis of AR and asthma, disease severity level, and allergic conditions). HRQoL was assessed using a modified version of the RHINASTHMA questionnaire (30, 'not at all bothered' - 150 'very much bothered') and symptom control was evaluated by a modified version of the Control of Allergic Rhinitis/Asthma Test (CARAT) (0, 'no control' - 30, 'very high control').

Results: Out of 643 patients with AR, 500 (78%) had asthma as a comorbidity, and 54% had moderate-severe intermittent AR, followed by moderate-severe persistent AR (34%). Compared to the patients with AR alone, patients with AR + asthma had significantly higher RHINASTHMA (e.g., median RHINASTHMA-total score 48.5 vs. 84, respectively) and a significantly lower CARAT score (median CARAT-total score 23 vs. 16.5, respectively). Upon stratifying asthma based on severity, AR patients with severe persistent asthma had worse HRQoL and control than those with mild persistent asthma. The association was significantly higher among non-obese participants compared to obese ones, with RHINASTHMA-upper symptoms score but not with CARAT.

Conclusions: Our observation of poorer HRQoL and symptoms control in AR patients with comorbid asthma supports the importance of a comprehensive approach for the management of AR in case of a comorbid allergic condition.

Keywords: CARAT; RHINASTHMA; allergy treatment; food allergy; pollen; rhinitis.