Epidemiology of allergic rhinitis in Quebec: from a 2008 population-based survey
INTRODUCTION: Our objective was to estimate the prevalence of symptoms and the proportion of a lifetime physician-based diagnosis of allergic rhinitis (AR) in the province of Quebec among people aged 15 years and older. METHODS: The 2008 Quebec Population Health Survey provided data on the prevalence of symptoms and proportion of lifetime physician-based diagnoses of AR. The prevalence of symptoms was defined as the proportion of individuals who, in the absence of a cold or the flu, had nasal and ocular symptoms in the 12 months before the survey. RESULTS: The reported prevalence of AR symptoms was 17%, although 9% did not have a diagnosed condition. Reported prevalence was lowest in those aged 65 years and older (12%) and was more common among women (19%) than men (15%). The estimated prevalence of lifetime physician-based diagnosis was 17%. CONCLUSION: AR prevalence is high in Quebec with about 1 in 6 people experiencing symptoms. The condition is underdiagnosed and might also be undertreated.
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