(HealthDay News) – Local allergic rhinitis (LAR) is prevalent among patients with rhinitis, affecting about one in four, and is often associated with childhood onset and persistent, severe conjunctivitis and/or asthma, according to a study published in the October issue of Allergy.

To examine the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and severity of LAR, Carmen Rondón, MD, of the Hospital Civil in Malaga, Spain, and colleagues conducted a study involving 452 adult patients with rhinitis who completed a clinical questionnaire, skin prick test, spirometry, and serum total and specific immunoglobulin E laboratory tests.

Of the 428 patients who completed the study, the researchers found that 25.7% were diagnosed with LAR, 63.1% had classical AR, and 11.2% had nonallergic rhinitis. More than 36% of LAR patients had childhood onset of rhinitis and 37.3% were sensitized to aeroallergens, especially Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus. The profiles of patients with LAR and AR were similar, with most patients presenting as nonsmoking females with severe, persistent perennial rhinitis often associated with asthma and conjunctivitis.

“In summary, our study shows that LAR is a prevalent entity in young people, affecting one in four of the rhinitis patients evaluated, with a similar clinical phenotype to AR, frequently associated with conjunctivitis and asthma, and with a common onset of nasal symptoms in childhood,” the authors write. “Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus was the most prevalent sensitizing aeroallergen in LAR and AR patients.”

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