Rhinitis epidemiology and demographics
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Rhinitis is a very frequent and highly prevalent global disease, and it is one of the most common conditions presenting for medical care in developed countries.
Epidemiology and Demographics
Rhinitis is a highly prevalent disease with significant financial impact on the society. Chronic rhinitis is one of the most common problems seen by physicians. Allergic rhinitis is estimated to affect one in every six Americans, and it is the fifth most chronic disease in the U.S. Allergic rhinitis is the most common chronic disease in the pediatric age group in the U.S, and it was the most common diagnosis reported in the 2000 Otolaryngology Workforce study. The estimated prevalence of allergic rhinitis ranges from 9-42%. Annually, between 30-60 million people in the U.S suffer from allergic rhinitis, 10-30% of these individuals are adults, and up to 40% are children. The prevalence of allergic rhinitis has been found to be increasing in countries worldwide, and factors such as increased airborne pollution, a rise in the population of dust mite in inadequately ventilated offices/homes with central heating/air conditioning, and sedentary lifestyles, have been suggested to contribute to the rise in its prevalence. The prevalence of allergic rhinitis has significantly increased during the past 50 years, with over 50% of adolecents in some countries reporting symptoms of allergic rhinitis. The prevalence of allergic rhinitis was noticed to have doubled in several countries over the last two decades in studies done in children between the ages 6-14years around the globe. Nonallergic rhinitis is also very common, and it has been estimated to affect about 19 million people in the U.S. There is sometimes an overlap between allergic and nonallergic rhinitis, referred to as "mixed rhinitis", and this has been estimated to affect about 26 million individuals in the United States. The overall prevalence of occupational rhinitis is unknown but it has been estimated to affect between 23-50% of bakers in Norway.
Rhinitis affects all age groups. Allergic rhinitis is the most common chronic disease of childhood, with symptoms developing in one of five children by 2-3 years of age. Up to 40% of of children have symptoms of allergic rhinitis by the age of six. The onset of nonallergic (non-infectious) rhinitis is often after the age of 20 years. Primary atrophic rhinitis is more commonly seen in young to middle-aged adults.
|Pattern of Allergic and Infectious rhinitis in children|
|Age||Allergic rhinitis||Infectious rhinitis|
|Neonates and Infants||+/-||++|
- Allergic rhinitis appears to be more common in boys during childhood, but males and females are equally affected during adulthood.
- Nonallergic (non-infectious) rhinitis is predominantly seen in females.
Rhinitis is a global disease with wide inter-regional and intra-regional variations in its prevalence. A study on the prevalence and diversity of allergic rhinitis in regions of the world (several countries in Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Turkey), showed wide variations in the prevalence of allergic rhinitis, ranging from 2.9% to 54.1%. Primary atrophic rhinitis is more prevalent in developing countries with warm climates. The prevalence of primary atrophic rhinitis varies in different parts of the world, affecting about 0.3-1% of the population in countries where it is highly prevalent. It has been found to be a common condition in tropical countries like India.
Chronic rhinitis constitute a huge financial burden to the society. Allergic rhinitis generates between $1.6-$4.9 billion in direct healthcare expenditure in the United States, and an indirect cost of about $0.1-$9.7 billion due to lost productivity annually.
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