Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol 2018 19;14:63. Epub 2018 Nov 19.
GlaxoSmithKline, PO Box 50199, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Background: The SNAPSHOT program provides current data on the allergic rhinitis burden in the adult general population of five Middle Eastern countries (Egypt, Turkey, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the latter three grouped into a Gulf cluster).
Methods: A multi-country, cross-sectional, epidemiological program conducted by telephone in a random sample of the adult general population; quotas were defined per country demographics. Subjects were screened for allergic rhinitis using the Score For Allergic Rhinitis questionnaire. Current prevalence (last 12 months) was estimated. Disease severity and control were assessed using the Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma classification and Rhinitis Control Assessment Test respectively. Quality of sleep, impact on daily activities and quality of life were measured using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Sheehan Disability Scale and EuroQol Five-Dimension questionnaire respectively. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to investigate risk factors and co-morbidities.
Results: 1808 of 33,486 subjects enrolled in the SNAPSHOT program fulfilled the case definition for allergic rhinitis. Prevalence was 3.6% [95% CI 3.2-4.0%] in Egypt, 6.4% [95% CI 5.9-6.9%] in Turkey and 6.4% [95% CI 6.0-6.9%] in the Gulf cluster. Risk factors identified were country, co-morbid asthma and income. Subjects with allergic rhinitis reported a significantly lower quality of life compared to the general population (< 0.0001). Overall, 55% of allergic rhinitis subjects were moderate/severe and 33% were uncontrolled. Both these groups reported impaired quality of life and quality of sleep and increased impairment of daily activities compared to mild/well-controlled subjects (< 0.0001).
Conclusions: Although the observed prevalence of allergic rhinitis in these Middle Eastern countries is low compared to western countries, its burden is considerable. Allergic rhinitis in general, and specifically uncontrolled and severe disease, results in a negative impact on quality of life, quality of sleep and daily activities.