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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2007 Mar;71(3):463-71. Epub 2006 Dec 12.

Prevalence and risk factors for allergic rhinitis in primary school children.

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Department of Pediatrics, Division of Allergy and Chest Diseases, Istanbul School of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.



Allergic rhinitis is a common chronic illness of childhood. The aim of the study was to evaluate the prevalence and risk factors of allergic rhinitis in 6-12-year-old schoolchildren in Istanbul.


A total of 2500 children aged between 6 and 12 years in randomly selected six primary schools of Istanbul were surveyed by using the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire between April and May 2004.


Of them 2387 (1185 M/1202 F) questionnaires were appropriately completed by the parents with an overall response of 95.4%. The prevalence of physician-diagnosed allergic rhinitis was 7.9% (n=189). A family history of atopy (aOR=1.30, 95% CI=1.00-1.68), frequent respiratory tract infection (aOR=1.36, 95% CI=1.08-1.70) and sinusitis (aOR=2.29, 95% CI=1.64-3.19), antibiotic use in the first year of life (aOR=1.26, 95% CI=1.01-1.57), cat at home in the first year of life (aOR=2.21, 95% CI=1.36-3.61), dampness at home (aOR=1.31, 95% CI=1.04-1.65) and perianal redness (aOR=1.26, 95% CI=1.01-1.57) were significant for increased risk for allergic rhinitis. Frequent consumption of fruits and vegetables were inversely, and frequent consumption of lollipops and candies were positively associated with allergic rhinitis symptoms.


Our study reconfirmed that family history of atopy, frequent respiratory tract infections, antibiotics given in the first year of life, cat at home in the first year of life, dampness at home, perianal redness and dietary habits are important independent risk factors for AR. Researchers worldwide should be focused to these factors and try to develop policies for early intervention, primary and secondary preventions for allergic diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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