Current Allergy and Asthma Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 142–151 | Cite as

Comparative Analysis of Allergic Rhinitis in Children and Adults

  • Adriana Izquierdo-Domínguez
  • Antonio L. Valero
  • Joaquim Mullol


Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a worldwide health problem that generates a significant healthcare burden in adults, adolescents, and children. Epidemiological studies have indicated that the prevalence of AR has progressively increased over the last three decades in developed and industrialized countries. AR currently affects up to 40 % of the worldwide population, with differences between adults and children and different countries of the World. Although not life-threatening, AR symptoms are frequently bothersome, adversely affecting work and quality of life of the affected patients, and causing a significant burden on both the individual and society. The symptoms have the potential to lead to both physical and mental complications, with sleep-disordered breathing in childhood and adolescence being associated with disorders in learning performance, behavior, and attention. Clinical features and comorbidities are very important for the “allergic march”, and in both adults and children there is some evidence of association between AR and asthma. ARIA classifications of both symptom duration (intermittent, persistent) and severity (mild, moderate, severe) have been validated in both adult and pediatric populations. Based on the duration and severity of patient’s disease, an appropriate treatment strategy has been issued for both adults and children, which consists of patient’s education, allergen avoidance, and pharmacological as well as allergen-specific immunotherapy treatment. The present review will attempt to compare the characteristics of AR between children and adults, either in the epidemiology, clinical features, impact on QOL, and management of the disease.


Allergic rhinitis Adults Children Epidemiology Quality of life Management Clinical features Comparative analysis Prevalence Classification Clinical features Management Immunotherapy 



Dr. Valero has served on boards for Stallergenes, Meda Pharmaceuticals, FAES, and ESTEVE; has received grant support from Uriach; and has received payment for development of educational presentations (including service on speakers bureaus) from FAES, Stallergenes, Novartis, and Pfizer.

Dr. Mullol has served on boards for Uriach, Meda Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, FAES, and Hartington Pharma; has received grant support from GlaxoSmithKline, Uriach, FAES, and Merck Sharp & Dohme; and has received payment for development of educational presentations (including lectures and service on speakers bureaus) from Uriach, Hartington Pharma, FAES, Novartis, Boehringer-Ingelheim, ESTEVE, Merck Sharp & Dohme, and PIERRE-FABRE.

Dr. Izquierdo-Dominguez reported no potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adriana Izquierdo-Domínguez
    • 1
  • Antonio L. Valero
    • 2
  • Joaquim Mullol
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of AllergologyHospital QuirónBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Pneumology and Respiratory Allergy, ICT, Hospital Clínic i UniversitariInstitut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS); and CIBER de Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES)BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Rhinology Unit & Smell Clinic, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Hospital Clínic i UniversitariInstitut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS); and CIBER de Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES)BarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Rhinology Unit & Smell Clinic, Department of OtorhinolaryngologyHospital Clínic, IDIBAPSBarcelonaSpain

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