Allergic rhinitis has an incidence of 9.8 per 1000 patient years (10 new diagnoses per 1000 patients per year) and is highest in populations under 45 years of age (15 per 1000 patients per year in patients 5-25 years old). Link/Figure 1
Prevalence of allergic rhinitis is 59.3 per 1000 patient years, meaning that among 1000 patients in a year, 59 seek help from their GP with allergic rhinitis. Link/Figure 2
Allergic rhinitis follows hypertension (K86) and upper respiratory infection (R74) in conditions ranked on prevalence. This means that allergic rhinitis is a condition affecting a relatively large proportion of the general practice population and is the third most common condition for which patients seek medical help and have contact with their GP throughout the year. Link/Table 3
In the youngest groups (age 0-15), the incidence is highest with boys / young men, whereas in the age groups 15-25 and 25-45, new diagnoses of allergic rhinitis are more common among women. Overall, there is no obvious sex difference in the incidence of allergic rhinitis (men 9.3, women 10.2 per 1000 patient years).
The increasing prevalence of allergic rhinitis over time (Link/Figure 2), without a rising incidence (Link/Figure 1), suggests an increase in the severity of symptoms of allergic rhinitis over time, at least leading to more contacts with the GP. This may point at a true increase in the experienced ‘disease burden’ of allergic rhinitis, since self-management has probably grown too. ‘Over the counter’ availability of systemic antihistamines has expanded over time in the Netherlands and the same goes probably for knowledge in the Dutch population on its use, in part owing to growing attention for the website www.thuisarts.nl (www.GPinfo.nl), developed and maintained by the Dutch College of GPs, providing patient education.
Allergic conjunctivitis (F71) has an incidence of 3.1 per 1000 patient years (Link/Figure 4) and a prevalence of 6.7 per 1000 patient years. Link/Figure 5