Korean J Med.  2013 Nov;85(5):445-451.

Classification and Epidemiology of Allergic Rhinitis

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Gachon University Gil Medical Center, Gachon University, Incheon, Korea. allergy21@hotmail.com


Allergic rhinitis is chronic disorder of nose which is evoked by IgE-mediated inflammation mostly triggered by contact between nasal mucosa and inhalant allergen. Allergic rhinitis can be classified according to seasonality (seasonal or perennial), continuity (intermittent or persistent), and severity (mild, moderate, or severe). Allergic rhinitis is relatively common, and the prevalence of allergic rhinitis has increased in Korea like other countries. As well as the prevalence of allergic rhinitis, the indoor and outdoor concentration of inhalant allergens and the sensitization to inhalant allergens were systematically investigated in Korea. As a result, house dust mite, pollens, fungal spores, cockroach, and animal hairs were found to be common inhalant allergens. Moreover, the concentration of tree pollens and grass pollens and sensitization to those pollens increased because of global warming, which may consequently increase the prevalence of pollen-induced allergic rhinitis. With regard to socioeconomic burden of allergic rhinitis, the direct medical cost including herbal and alternative medicine was as high as 1.78 million Korean won per year. Direct nonmedical cost as well as indirect cost including unproductivity, absenteeism, and medical cost for associated diseases such as asthma worsened the socioeconomic burden of allergic rhinitis.


Allergic rhinitis; Epidemiology; Classification; Burden; Allergen
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