Natural course and comorbidities of allergic and nonallergic rhinitis in children

Published:November 07, 2011DOI:


      Not much data are available from large, unselected, birth cohort studies on the natural course and comorbidities of rhinitis in children.


      To study phenotypes of rhinitis in relation to the natural course and comorbidities of allergic diseases in preschool-age and early school-age children.


      We analyzed data from a birth cohort of 2024 children, for whom information on IgEs against 8 common inhaled allergens was available, collected at age 4 and 8 years. The children were assigned to groups of allergic rhinitis (rhinitis with sensitization to allergens), nonallergic rhinitis (rhinitis without sensitization), allergic sensitization but no rhinitis, or neither rhinitis nor sensitization.


      The proportion of children with allergic rhinitis increased from 5% to 14% from age 4 to 8 years, whereas the proportion of children with nonallergic rhinitis decreased slightly over the same period of development, from 8% to 6%. Of the children with allergic rhinitis when they were 4 years old, 12% underwent remission by the time they were 8 years old; of the children with nonallergic rhinitis, 73% underwent remission during this period of development. Among 4-year-olds without rhinitis who were sensitized to allergen, 56% had allergic rhinitis when they were 8 years old. Among 4- and 8-year-olds, allergic rhinitis and nonallergic rhinitis were associated with asthma, eczema, and food hypersensitivity. Twenty-five percent of 8-year-olds with allergic rhinitis also had oral allergy syndrome.


      Fewer preschool-age children with allergic rhinitis undergo remission than do those with nonallergic rhinitis. Sensitization to inhaled allergens at an early age (4 years) precedes the development of allergic rhinitis, whereas symptoms of rhinitis do not. Oral allergy syndrome is common among 8-year-olds with allergic rhinitis.

      Key words

      Abbreviations used:

      BAMSE (Barn/Children, Allergy/Asthma, Milieu, Stockholm, Epidemiologic), ISAAC (International Study of Asthma and Allergy in Childhood), ISAAC-RC (Rhinoconjunctivitis according to the ISAAC definition), OAS (Oral allergy syndrome)
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