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Towards a new epidemiological definition of chronic rhinitis: prevalence of nasal complaints in the general population

Volume: 59 - Issue: 3

First page: 258 - Last page: 266

K.S. Avdeeva - W.J. Fokkens - S. Reitsma

Background: Chronic rhinitis (CR) is currently defined as the presence of at least two nasal symptoms for at least 1 hour per day for more than 12 weeks per year. Such definition lacks evidence-based foundation. CR patients are often divided into ‘runners’ and ‘blockers’, although the evidence supporting such subdivision is limited. The aim of the study was to define CR, to estimate its prevalence and the proportion of ‘runners’ and ‘blockers’.
Methods: Cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study in a random sample of participants representing the general population of the Netherlands.
Results: The questionnaire was sent to 5000 residents of the Netherlands; the response rate was 27%. CR was defined as at least 1 nasal complaint present for more than 3 weeks per year. The prevalence of CR in the general population was 40%. Participants who would have been excluded by the former CR definition were shown to have a significantly higher VAS compared to the controls. The larger part of CR group was represented by non-allergic rhinitis (NAR): 70% vs 30%. There were 25% ‘Blockers’ and 22% ‘Runners’ in the CR group, whereas more than a half of the CR group could be classified in neither of these subgroups.
Conclusion: Based on our data, we suggest that the current definition of CR should be revised and propose a new definition: at least one nasal complaint present for at least 3 weeks per year; although future studies are needed to further validate the proposed definition.

Rhinology 59-3: 258-266, 2021

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