BACKGROUND: The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) showed a wide variability in prevalence and severity of allergic rhinitis (AR) and rhinoconjunctivitis (ARC), in addition to other atopic diseases (Asher et al, 2006).1 The Global Asthma Network (GAN) has continued to study these conditions.
OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of AR and ARC in children and adolescents in Mexico and to assess their association with different risk factors.
METHODS: GAN Phase I is a cross-sectional, multicentre survey carried out in 15 centres corresponding to 14 Mexican cities throughout 2016-2019 using the validated Spanish language version of the GAN Phase I questionnaires. The questionnaires were completed by 35 780 parents of 6-7 year old primary school pupils (children) and by 41 399 adolescents, 13-14 years old.
RESULTS: The current and cumulative prevalence of AR was higher in the adolescents (26.2-37.5%, respectively) in comparison to the children (17.9-24.9%, respectively), especially in female participants. This tendency was also observed in the current prevalence of ARC, where 15.1% of female adolescents reported nasal symptoms accompanied with itchy-watery eyes in the past year. The most important risk factors for AR and ARC were the presence of wheezing in the past 12 months, wheezing in the first year of life, the previous diagnosis of asthma and eczema symptoms. Furthermore, allergic symptoms had a negative tendency concerning altitude.
CONCLUSION: This is the largest AR epidemiological study ever conducted in Mexico. It shows an increase in AR prevalence, as well as significant associations with modifiable risk factors, which could help to establish recommendations to reduce the burden of this condition.