Objectives: Currently, epidemiological data on allergic rhinitis collected through the skin prick test are scarce. Moreover, the relationship of age and sex to allergic rhinitis is not comprehensively understood. This study aimed to characterize allergic rhinitis and the associated clinical manifestations by age and sex. Methods: We retrospectively investigated data from 2883 patients who visited a single university hospital for rhinitis symptoms between January 2003 and December 2014. Of these 2883 patients, 1964 who underwent a skin prick test with 11 standardized allergen extracts and completed a nasal symptom questionnaire were enrolled. The clinical characteristics of allergen sensitization and nasal symptoms were analyzed by sex and age distribution. Results: The prevalence of allergen sensitization progressively decreased with age after peaking at between 20 and 29 years. The sensitization rate was higher in males than in females (P =.046). The sensitization rate to house dust mites decreased with age, while sensitization to mugwort and ragweed increased. Six allergens (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Dermatophagoides farinae, mugwort, trees, ragweed, and cats) were sufficient to identify >96% of patients with allergen sensitization. Nasal obstruction tended to decrease with age and was more prevalent in males (P =.002) than in females, while rhinorrhea (P =.007) and itching (P =.013) were more prevalent in females. Total nasal symptom scores did not differ by sex. Conclusions: The clinical characteristics of allergic rhinitis, including allergen-sensitization patterns and related symptoms, varied by age and sex. Six common allergens could be sufficient to generate a cost-effective tool to identify allergic rhinitis.
- allergic rhinitis
- nasal symptom