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Rhinitis in a community elderly population: relationships with age, atopy, and asthma.

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2013 Nov;111(5):347-51. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2013.08.015. Song WJ, Kim MY, Jo EJ, Kim MH, Kim TH, Kim SH, Kim KW, Cho SH, Min KU, Chang YS. Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea; Institute of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Seoul National University Medical Research Center, Seoul, Korea.

BACKGROUND: Rhinitis is one of the most frequent medical conditions. However, there is sparse epidemiologic evidence for rhinitis in the elderly population.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the prevalence of rhinitis in elderly adults and its relations to asthma and other comorbidities.

METHODS: A cross-sectional analysis was performed using the baseline dataset of the Korean Longitudinal Study on Health and Aging, a community-based elderly population cohort in Korea (≥65 years old). Structured questionnaires were used to define rhinitis, asthma, and comorbidity, and allergen skin prick tests were used to define atopy. Health-related quality of life was assessed by short-form 36 questionnaires.

RESULTS: In total, 982 elderly adults (98.2%) were included in the present study. The prevalence of rhinitis was 25.6% and did not decrease until 90 years of age. The prevalence of atopy was 17.2% (18.8% in participants with rhinitis), and atopy did not show a significant association with rhinitis. In multivariate logistic regression analyses, relations between asthma and rhinitis were significant. Among comorbid conditions, none were significantly associated with rhinitis. In the short-form 36 questionnaire analyses, rhinitis was independently related to a decrease in the physical aspects of quality of life.

CONCLUSION: The present study found a high prevalence of nonallergic rhinitis in elderly participants, which was significantly related to asthma and quality of life.

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