Publication Details

Title :

Allergic rhinitis: Disease characteristics and coping measures in Saudi Arabia


PLoS One.

Impact Factor:



Almehizia AA1,2, AlEssa RK1,2, Alwusaidi KM3, Alzamil KA3, AlJumah M4, Aljohani S1,2, Almutairi AF1,2, Salam M1,2.


1 King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Science, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

2 King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

3 Imam Saud bin Abdulaziz University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

4 Alfarabi University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Year of Publication:





Despite allergic rhinitis (AR) being a highly prevalent disease, according to literature, it is often underdiagnosed or undertreated.

This study explored the disease characteristics of AR in the Saudi community and the non-conventional coping measures used to alleviate symptoms.

The study was a nationwide cross-sectional study, using a self-report electronic survey distributed via social media networks in 2018. The survey included an explanatory letter and consent. The sample size comprised 3,458 participants and 2,849 adults had at least one of the four signs of AR, i.e. watery-nose, sneezing, nasal obstruction, itchy nose, watery eyes, in the past year, not related to cold/flu. The outcomes of the study were the triggers, pattern, severity and the classification of AR (2016 ARIA guidelines) and coping measures. Descriptive statistics, univariate analytic statistics and binary logistic regression analyses were conducted. The P-value was considered statistically significant at <0.05.

The leading reported trigger of AR was dust (74%, n = 2118), followed by pollen (17%, n = 477), mold (5%, n = 140) and fur (4%, n = 114). The prevalence of intermittent AR was (54%, n = 1,635), while that of persistent AR was (46%, n = 1,314). Almost one-third (34%, n = 959) complained of mild forms of AR, while others complained of moderate to severe forms (66%, n = 1890). The coping measures were mainly shower/humidification 368(12.9%) and herbal hot drinks 266(9.3%). Older participants (adj.OR = 1.3[1.1-1.5]) and overweight participants, (adj.OR = 1.2[1.1-1.4]) reported more persistent forms of rhinitis compared to their counter groups, (adj.P<0.001 and adj.P = 0.032) respectively. Female participants (adj.OR = 0.8[0.7-0.9]) had significantly milder forms of AR, in comparison to males, adj.P = 0.006.

This study presented the disease characteristics of self-reported AR and its associated factors in Saudi Arabia. Special attention should be paid to older age groups and overweight patients who reported persistent forms of AR. Males reported more severe and persistent forms of AR.