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Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2019 Apr;36(2):184-191. doi: 10.5114/ada.2019.84594. Epub 2019 May 14.

Clinical characteristics and epidemiology of chronic urticaria: a nationwide, multicentre study on 1091 patients.

Author information

Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland.
Department of Dermatology, University of Rzeszow, Rzeszow, Poland.



Urticaria is one of the most common skin diseases. Depending on the length of symptoms, acute (lasting less than 6 weeks) and chronic urticaria (CU) (> 6 weeks) are distinguished. According to the current European guidelines, CU is divided into inducible urticaria (IU) and chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU).


To assess the epidemiology and clinical characteristics of CU in Poland.

Material and methods:

This was a nationwide, multicentre, cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study performed under the auspices of the Polish Dermatological Society. A total of 102 physicians (dermatologists and allergists) recruited 1091 patients suffering from CU.


Among 1091 adults with CU, IU was found in 35.1% (n = 383) of patients and CSU was responsible for 61.1% (n = 667) of CU cases. The remaining patients (n = 41, 3.8%) suffered from both, IU and CSU. Persons with CSU were twice more likely to report family history of urticaria than those with IU (12.1% vs. 6.0%, p = 0.001). Generalized eruptions of wheals predominated in CSU (generalized wheals: 57.9%, localized wheals: 42.1%), whereas wheals localized in particular body areas were found more commonly in IU (generalized wheals: 45.2%, localized wheals: 54.8%, p < 0.001). The CU was the cause of absenteeism in almost every fifth patient suffering from this disease.


The CSU is about twice as frequent cause of CU as compared to IU. The treatment of CU is a major challenge for physicians of various specialties and the treatment choice is closely associated with the specialist knowledge of current treatment guidelines.


allergic diseases; chronic spontaneous urticaria; inducible urticaria

Conflict of interest statement

This study was supported by an educational grant provided by Novartis Poland.

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