Allergies in Children: What’s New?—A Cross-Sectional Descriptive Study
Author(s)： Daniela Simoncin, Anna Peirolo, Alberto Macchi, Stefania Porcu, Daniela Graziani, Luigi Nespoli
Background: The prevalence of respiratory allergies is increasing worldwide, with important consequences especially for little children. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of respiratory allergies, such as rhinitis and asthma, and to point out the risk factors and their relationship with allergic diseases in a specific area of Northern Italy.
Methods: 110 children, male and female, from our outpatient service for allergic children, between 3 and 17 years old, were examined. After a skin prick test and a nasal cytology, the written questionnaire of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood was filled by parents together with their children. Results: 110 children were examined. 74% of children had rhinitis and 71% asthma. 88 patients were allergic, grass pollen and house dust mite was the most frequent allergens. A family history of atopy, family background, geographic area, active and passive smoking and home pets were associated to allergies. Older children (6 – 15 years old) had more often rhinitis associated with asthma and conjunctivitis as compared to younger. 21 Children were also affected by non-allergic rhinitis.
Conclusions: Respiratory allergies are widespread and associated to a low quality of life among little children. Sensitization to Ragweed is increasing with important consequences. Rhinitis precedes the onset of asthmatic symptoms. Moreover non allergic rhinitis is increasing and frequently underdiagnosed.