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A survey of the burden of allergic rhinitis in Hungary from a specialist’s perspective

Mária Szilasi1, Gabriella Gálffy2, Károly Fónay3, Zsuzsa Márk4, Zoltán Rónai5, Zsuzsanna Szalai6, Magdolna E Szilasi7, Marianna Budai8, Veronika Müller2, Attila Somfay9, Ildikó Horváth2 and Lilla Tamási2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pulmonology, University of Debrecen Medical and Health Science Center, Nagyerdeikrt. 98, Debrecen, H-4032, Hungary

2 Department of Pulmonology, Semmelweis University, Diósárok 1/c, H-1125, Budapest, Hungary

3 Elisabeth Teaching Hospital, Győriút 15, H-9400, Sopron, Hungary

4 Institute for Respiratory Medicine, Munkácsy Mihály u.70, H-2045, Törökbálint, Hungary

5 Golden Chalice Health Center, Citrom u. 10, H-7621, Pécs, Hungary

6 KarolinaHospitalMosonmagyaróvár, Pulmonology and Allergology Department, RégiVámháztér 2-4, H-9200, Mosonmagyaróvár, Hungary

7 Department of Pulmonology, University Clinic Salzburg, Müllner Hauptstraße 48, A-5020, Salzburg, Austria

8 Department of Pharmaceutics, Semmelweis University, Hőgyes E. u. 7, H-1092, Budapest, Hungary

9 Department of Pulmonology, University of Szeged, Albert Szent-Györgyi Clinical Center, Alkotmány u. 36, H-6772, Deszk, Hungary

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Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine 2012, 7:49  doi:10.1186/2049-6958-7-49

Published: 30 November 2012



The casual and severity distribution of allergic rhinitis (AR) in Hungary is unknown.

The aim of this survey was to evaluate symptom perception, disease severity, concomitant asthma frequency and the impact of AR on everyday life activities in a cross-sectional, multicenter study in Hungary under the supervision of Hungarian Respiratory Society.


Data were recorded by 933 AR patients (65.93% women) and their treating specialists. The perceptions of patients regarding the symptoms (nasal, ocular and others) of AR and its severity, together with its impact on everyday life were assessed. Physicians recorded data regarding the diagnosis and severity of AR, and comorbidities.


52.5% of patients suffered from seasonal AR, 35.1% from perennial AR. A large proportion of patients had moderate to severe disease (MS-AR) (57.34%), persistent disease (98.0%) and concomitant asthma (53.32% in the mild, 57.52% in the MS-AR group). MS-AR was more frequent among women. Despite the treatment used, in MS-AR the proportions of patients reporting moderate to severe rhinorrhoea, nasal obstruction, ocular itching/redness, watering, itchy throat and sneezing were as high as 52.0%, 54.0%, 33.8%, 26.5%, 44.0% and 31.2%, respectively. Overall, there was a poor agreement between disease severity reported by patients and specialists. The adherence to oral antihistamines and intranasal corticosteroids was found to be between 50 and 65%; mostly depending on the dosage form.


AR remains a significant health problem in Hungary because of the burden of symptoms, high rate of concomitant asthma and the significant proportion of MS-AR affecting general well being.

Allergic rhinitis; Cross-sectional survey; Impact on quality of life; Symptom severity