Recurrent vaginal candidiasis and allergic rhinitis: a common association

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 1998 Aug;81(2):165-9. doi: 10.1016/S1081-1206(10)62804-9.


Background: In a recent series of studies, it has been shown that hypersensitivity is an important factor in recurrent vaginal candidiasis and several referring gynecologists have been asking for our support in the evaluation of women with regard to the possibility of local vaginal hypersensitivity. This study was instituted because, since the first anamnesis, a high incidence of perennial allergic rhinitis, as well as family allergies have been observed in these patients.

Objective: To study the association between recurrent vaginal candidiasis and perennial allergic rhinitis, and to explore the allergic characteristics of the patients and of the disease.

Methods: For 28 months, we have prospectively studied 95 patients with recurrent vaginal candidiasis referred by gynecologists to a private allergy practice. All of them were unresponsive to all other modalities of therapy, and had no diabetes or immunodeficiency diseases. As a control group, we studied 100 women, who came to the allergy office for other reasons, and had no recurrent vaginal candidiasis. All of these 195 women were submitted to a standard allergy medical history, a complete physical examination, and immediate skin tests with a standard battery of inhalant allergens and Candida albicans. The incidence of allergic diseases in the two groups was compared.

Results: Sixty-four patients with recurrent vaginal candidiasis also had allergic rhinitis (71%), while in the control group the incidence of this pathology was 42%. The difference was considered statistically significant, according to the software Epi info (P < .0001). The study (1) did not show an association between recurrent vaginal candidiasis and asthma and (2) indicated that patients with recurrent vaginal candidiasis have a high incidence of skin tests positive to inhalant allergens (50%), to Candida albicans (55%), and a high incidence of family history of allergies (73%). In control women, the incidence of skin test positive to inhalant allergens was 72% and to Candida albicans, 10%. There was a family history of allergies in 61% of women.

Conclusions: The data demonstrate that recurrent vaginal candidiasis is statistically associated with perennial allergic rhinitis and that many of these women with recurrent vaginal candidiasis tend to be atopic.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal / complications*
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal / immunology
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / complications*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / epidemiology
  • Skin Tests