Allergic rhinitis (AR) is the most common chronic and allergic disease in adults. Prevalence ranges from 11.7% to 21.2% in adults in Turkey. AR leads to substantial socioeconomic costs and loss in quality of life. It typically begins in childhood or adolescence. Hereditary factors and gender plays an important role in the development.
The prevalence of self-reported and physician-diagnosed AR exhibits significant variability across the seven geographical regions in Turkey.
The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of AR in the Turkish adult population. METHODS
An epidemiological study was planned among the students of Celal Bayar University from various regions of Turkey to find the prevalence of allergic rhinitis and search for geographical differences in Turkey. A questionnaire was designed to collect data on sociodemographic features, symptoms of allergic rhinitis, and any prior diagnosis of allergic rhinitis made by a physician. RESULTS
A questionnaire related with allergic rhinitis and asthma was asked to 1086 students (454 males, 632 females). The current prevalences of the seasonal and perennial rhinoconjunctivitis, urticaria and eczema, drug intolerances, pollen and pet animal hypersensitivities were 20.7%, 22.5%, 4.6%, 16.3% and 0.2% respectively. All of hypersensitivities reaction rates were distinctively more common in the females. Seasonal rhinitis and pollen allergy were more prevalent in west (22.1%) region than northern region (12.0%). No significant geographical difference was observed regarding the drug and pet hypersensitivities.
Our study has shown the importance of asthma and allergic diseases as a public health problem. Explanation of the observed geographical differences needs further studies.