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Co-Existence of Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis: A 23-Year Follow-Up Study of College Students

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The purpose of this study is to examine the co-existence of asthma and allergic rhinitis among former college students who were diagnosed with these diseases either before or after their freshman year. A total of 738 former Brown University students (69% males and 31% females) who were evaluated and underwent skin testing during their freshman year completed a 23-year follow-up questionnaire inquiring of their history of allergies and asthma. The mean age of the participants at the time of the follow-up study was 40 years. In this group, the cumulative incidence of asthma was 11.3% (84/738), hay fever was 41.5% (306/738), and nonseasonal allergic rhinitis was 14.0% (l03/738). The cumulative incidence of allergic rhinitis (hay fever and/or nonseasonal allergic rhinitis) was 45.8% (338/738). Among the 84 individuals with a cumulative incidence of asthma, 63 (75.0%) had a history of hay fever, 27 (32.1%) had a history of nonseasonal allergic rhinitis, and 72 (85.7%) had a history of allergic rhinitis. Among the 306 participants with a cumulative incidence of hay fever, 63 (20.6%) had a history of asthma. Twenty-seven (26.2%) of the 103 individuals with a history of nonseasonal allergic rhinitis had a cumulative incidence of asthma. Among the 338 individuals with a cumulative incidence of allergic rhinitis 72 (21.3%) had a history of asthma. Among the participants with a history of both asthma and hay fever, 44.8% developed hay fever first, 34.5% developed asthma first, and 20.7% developed both diseases at the same time. Among the individuals with a history of asthma and nonseasonal allergic rhinitis, 38.5% developed nonseasonal allergic rhinitis first, 30.8% developed asthma first, and 30.8% developed both diseases at the same time. This study further demonstrates the frequent co-existence of asthma and allergic rhinitis. Among asthmatics, allergic rhinitis occurred in 85.7%. Only 14.3% of asthmatics did not have allergic rhinitis. Among individuats with allergic rhinitis, asthma occurred in 21.3%. Also, allergic rhinitis often precedes or occurs at the same time as asthma.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 1998

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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