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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2017 October;176(10):489-96

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.17.03436-2


language: English

Allergic rhinitis: clinical patterns and risk factors in Thessaloniki and Northern Greece. A retrospective study in a tertiary reference clinic

Dimitrios RACHOVITSAS, Dionyssia PAPADOPOULOU , Stylianos KOLLIS, Anna ZISI, George PSILLAS

1st ENT Department, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, AHEPA University Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece


BACKGROUND: Allergic rhinitis is a common disease that affects patients of all age groups resulting in deterioration of their quality of life. Sparse data exist about its incidence in Greece. In particular, to our knowledge no other study exists describing the prevalence of AR in adult population in the geographical area of Thessaloniki and Northern Greece in the English literature so far. In consideration of lack of data we have conducted this study with the aim to record the clinical patterns and possible risk factors of allergic rhinitis in this area.
METHODS: Patients who attended the Rhinology and Allergic Rhinitis Clinic of the 1st ENT Department of AHEPA University Hospital in Thessaloniki in Greece between 2013 and 2015 and were subsequently diagnosed with AR were included in this study. The diagnosis of allergic rhinitis was set after detailed history taking, complete ENT examination & skin prick test. The characteristics of allergic rhinitis, possible trigger factors and allergic co-morbidities were analyzed.
RESULTS: Approximately, half of the patients who attended the clinic were diagnosed with allergic rhinitis. The incidence of allergic rhinitis was slightly higher in men and was more frequent in patients between 30-64 years of age. Most of patients (79.2%) came from urban areas. Concomitant asthma and atopic dermatitis were significant more frequent in women (P=0.02 and P=0.03, respectively). Furthermore, patients with concomitant asthma had a higher incidence of concurrent atopic dermatitis, P<0.01. According to ARIA classification, 43.4% of the studied population was classified to have mild and 56.6% to have moderate/severe disease. In addition, patients with concurrent asthma had a higher incidence of positive family allergic history (P<0.01). Furthermore, the most frequent HDM allergen was Dermatophagoides farinae in 51.6% of the patients and the most frequent pollen allergen was Olea europaea in 31.7% of patients. The analysis of sensitization patterns showed that the most frequent allergen group was house dust mites in 77.4% of patients followed by pollens in 59.7% of patients. Patients embarked on immunotherapy were more likely to have sensitization to house dust mites (P<0.01) and to be polysensitized (P<0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: The present study provides data about the incidence, clinical patterns and sensitization profiles of allergic rhinitis in Thessaloniki and the broader area of Northern Greece. Furthermore, it clearly depicts the unique clinical features of the disease in this region and defines distinctly risk factors of allergic rhinitis.

KEY WORDS: Allergens - Rhinitis, allergic - Epidemiology - Greece

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