Prevalence, Pattern, and Severity of Allergic Rhinitis among Children and Teenagers in Qassim Region, Saudi Arabia: A Cross-sectional StudyWaleed Alhazmi,Aisha Almutairi,Jolan Alsaud,Abdulwahab Aladhyani,Anwar Almutairi,Maha Alsweed,Sadin Alhazmi,Samar Alharbi.
overreacts to allergens in the air which results in sneezing, rhinorrhea, itching, as well as sleep disturbance. According to the statistics, the prevalence of allergic rhinitis has increased globally in the last decades and is considered a global threat among preschoolers, schoolchildren, and adolescents. This study aims to measure the prevalence, patterns, and severity of allergic rhinitis among children and teenagers in the Qassim region, Saudi Arabia. A cross-sectional study was conducted among six to eighteen years old boys and girls living in the Qassim region, Saudi Arabia. A validated English questionnaire was distributed among children and teenagers living in the Qassim region at any social gathering. The questionnaire consisted of socio-demographic characteristics and International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaires (ISAAC).Data were obtained from 620 responders. 51.3% of them have encountered problems with sneezing and a runny or blocked nose when they did not have a common cold or influenza. The estimated prevalence of allergic rhinitis in the Qassim region was therefore 51.3%. This is the highest reported prevalence across different regions in Saudi Arabia and represents a health issue. Regarding the severity of nasal symptoms and their impact on daily activities, about 42.0% of the participants reported that their daily activities were moderate to severely affected by their allergic rhinitis. Moderate to severe symptoms usually affect at least one aspect of daily activities such as sports, leisure, or work performance. 51.3% of the children and teenagers in this study have allergic rhinitis or symptoms suggestive of it. Qassim region is one of the most affected regions with the burden of this condition in Saudi Arabia. It is estimated that the number of undiagnosed and untreated cases exceeds what is reported. The usual peak of allergic rhinitis was reported in June and August. Recognition and appropriate management of this disease will lead to improvement of overall quality of life.
Key words: Asthma, allergic rhinitis, adolescents, influenza, Saudi Arabia