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Diagnosis and treatment of grass pollen‐induced allergic rhinitis in specialized current clinical practice in Spain

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Allergic rhinitis (AR) is the leading cause of consultation at the allergy specialist's office, but detailed, reliable, and validated clinical data on this condition are limited. This study was designed to define the clinical features, diagnostic methods, and therapeutic approaches of patients with AR induced by grass pollen in Spain. Two hundred twelve specialists participated in a multicenter, observational, epidemiologic, questionnaire-based study. Each investigator had to recruit at least two patients consulting for the first time and with a diagnosis of AR induced by grass pollen. Five hundred twenty-four patients (52% men; mean age, 29.3 years) with grass pollen‐induced rhinitis (mean disease duration, 8.7 years) were recruited. Just 18.4% of patients reported that their symptom status had improved since the beginning of the condition, 89.4% had moderate‐severe rhinitis (Allergic Rhinitis and Its Impact on Asthma classification) and 35.1% had concomitant bronchial asthma. For 52.1% of patients, control of symptoms with previous drug treatment was poor. Most of the patients were polysensitized to other pollens (sensitization to olive tree pollen, 57.1%). Oral antihistamines (97.3%) and nasal corticosteroids (82.3%) were the most frequently prescribed drugs and 43.1% of patients received specific immunotherapy. The clinical profile for the majority of Spanish patients consulting an allergy specialist for AR induced by grass pollen corresponds to a young adult with a lengthy moderate‐severe rhinitis, often accompanied by bronchial asthma. Their symptoms progressively worsen and rhinitis is poorly controlled by symptomatic treatment. Oral antihistamines and nasal corticosteroids are the most frequently used therapeutic approaches and less than one-half receive specific immunotherapy.
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Keywords: Allergic rhinitis; allergy; diagnosis; epidemiology; grass pollen; immunotherapy; rhinitis; therapeutic

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Allergy Unit, Hospital Clinic Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Publication date: 2011-09-01

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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