[Comparison of clinical characteristics between patients with non-allergic and allergic rhinitis]

Lu-ping Zhu, Qi-lei Tao, Mei-ping Lu, Yun-li Wang, Ruo-xi Chen, Yi Lu, Yan Shen, Lei Cheng
Zhonghua Er Bi Yan Hou Tou Jing Wai Ke za Zhi, Chinese Journal of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery 2012, 47 (7): 559-64

OBJECTIVE: To analyze and compare the differences of clinical characteristics and comorbidities between patients with non-allergic rhinitis (NAR) and allergic rhinitis (AR).

METHODS: A total of 556 out-patients were enrolled from January 2010 to June 2011. The chief complaints of the patients included at least two of the following nasal symptoms: nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing, and nasal itching. Based on the results of the disease history, physical examination and allergen skin prick test, the patients were classified into NAR group (n = 206) and AR group (n = 350). Detailed information including general data, nasal symptoms and signs, accompanied symptoms and comorbidities were obtained by questionnaires. A scoring was adopted to estimate the severity of disease. SPSS 13.0 software was applied for statistical analysis.

RESULTS: The mean age of NAR patients (31.8 ± 16.7) was older than that of AR patients (26.3 ± 14.8), and the difference was significant (t = 4.01, P = 0.0001). While there was no significant difference on gender distribution between two groups (χ² = 0.12, P = 0.73). The percentage of nasal congestion was not significantly different between NAR and AR patients (89.8% and 92.0%, respectively; χ² = 0.26, P = 0.611). However, the symptoms of rhinorrhea, sneezing, nasal itching, eyes itching, lachrymation, wheeze and cough were more popular in AR patients than those in NAR patients (all P < 0.05). Moreover, above symptoms (except cough) were more serious in AR patients, and the symptom scores were significantly higher than those in NAR patients (all P < 0.05). Most of patients with NAR (67.0%) and AR (62.9%) were moderate-severe persistent (χ² = 1.25, P = 0.264). Accompanied asthma were more common in patients with AR (12.6%) compared with NAR (2.4%), while hypertension were more common in patients with NAR (7.3%) compared with AR (1.7%), and the differences were significant (both P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: NAR and AR are two different disease entities, which have different clinical characteristics, as well as different comorbidities. Further clinical study should be done on the rhinitis phenotypes.

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