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World Allergy Organ J. 2011 Nov;4(11):170-8. doi: 10.1097/WOX.0b013e31823842bc. Epub 2011 Nov 18.

(Un)Awareness of allergy.

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  • 1Department of Immunology and Allergic Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Kirikkale University, Kirikkale, Turkey.



Allergy is associated with considerable morbidity.


The aim of this multicenter study was to provide insight into allergy knowledge and perceptions among the population.


During the World Allergy Day, several allergy clinics conducted public meetings to encourage the awareness of and education in allergy. At the beginning, participants filled out a questionnaire to assess their knowledge about what is allergy and to determine by whom those symptoms are cared.


A total of 256 participants (187 women/69 men, mean age, 31.2 ± 12.5 years) completed the survey. Of the 202 participants with symptoms, 58.9% had physician-diagnosed allergic disease. Among the 19 symptoms evaluated, 56.5% of the symptoms were recognized as related with allergy, and this increased in compliance with education level (r = +0.427; P < 0.001) but not with diagnosed allergy (P = 0.34). Sneezing was the most common symptom thought to be related with allergy-related symptom (77.5%), whereas loss of smell was the least one (37.9%). Participants were more likely to be cared by an allergologist (72.9%) followed by other specialties, when experiencing allergy.


Increasing the awareness for allergic symptoms is the key not only for the diagnosis but also for the optimal treatment. Therefore, education is an important component of prevention and control of allergic diseases.

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