To evaluate the literature regarding the burden of allergic rhinitis (AR) and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (ARC) in adolescents (aged 10–19 years).
Searches were performed in MEDLINE, Embase, Health Technology Assessment Database, and National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database for studies that evaluated concepts of symptoms, quality of life (QOL), daily activities, sleep, examination performance, school absenteeism and presenteeism, and treatment burden in adolescents with AR or ARC.
English-language journal articles indexed in the last 15 years describing noninterventional, population-based studies. Records were assessed by 2 independent reviewers.
A total of 27 articles were identified; outcomes evaluated were symptoms (n = 6 studies), QOL (n = 9), daily activities (n = 5), emotional aspects (n = 3), sleep (n = 6), education (n = 7), and treatment burden (n = 2). AR symptoms rated most bothersome were rhinorrhea, nasal congestion, and itchy eyes. QOL was worse in adolescents with AR vs controls regardless of QOL instrument used. Nasal symptoms and nasal obstruction were more likely to be associated with poor QOL in adolescents than in adults or younger children, respectively. Daily functioning and sleep were also negatively affected by AR. In addition, a detrimental effect on absenteeism, school productivity, and academic performance was reported.
Although AR and ARC are sometimes perceived as trivial conditions, this review indicates that their effect on adolescent life is negative and far-reaching. It is critical that clinicians gain a greater understanding of the unique burden of AR and ARC in adolescents to ensure they receive prompt and appropriate care and treatment to improve clinical and academic outcomes.