Factors associated with allergic rhinitis and combined allergic rhinitis and asthma syndrome (CARAS) in children aged 5–18 years undergoing immunotherapy in a tropical low- or middle-income country

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Augusto Peñaranda
Manuela Gantiva https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4617-0940
Sergio Moreno-López https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3043-0963
Daniel Peñaranda https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2220-0746
Lucía C. Pérez-Herrera https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8041-6433
Elizabeth García https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7456-4007


Allergy, Allergic Rhinitis, Asthma, Allergic Disease, Immunotherapy, Tropical Climate


Background: Tropics have some particularities that can impact the natural history and factors associated with allergic diseases. However, few studies described the characteristics of patients with allergic rhinitis (AR) and combined AR and asthma syndrome (CARAS) in Latin American tropical countries.

Objective: This study aimed to determine the medical, social, and environmental factors associated with AR and CARAS in children aged 5–18 years treated with immunotherapy in two allergy referral centers in Bogotá (Colombia).

Material and methods: An observational, cross-sectional study was conducted between January 2018 and January 2019. International Study Asthma Allergies Childhood-III and sociodemographic questionnaires were applied to adolescents and parents of children undergoing immunotherapy at the allergy consult in the Hospital Universitario Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá and UNIMEQ-ORL.

Results: Among 830 children aged 5–18 years, 38.1% (n = 316) were women. Up to 63.25% of the population had a positive skin prick test for house dust mites: 63.25% for Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, 61.81% for Dermatophagoides farinae, and 31.57% for Blomia tropicalis. The factors associated with AR were male sex (PR: 1.31, 95% CI: 1.08–1.57), antibiotic consumption during the first year of life (PR: 0.80; 95% CI: 0.63–0.99), and exposure to dogs (PR: 1.32; 95% CI: 1.06–2.66). The factors associated with CARAS were older age (PR=0.95; 95% CI: 0.95–0.99), acetaminophen consumption over four times a year (PR: 1.31; 95% CI: 1.03–1.55), and antibiotic consumption during the first year of life (PR: 1.21; 95% CI: 1.06–1.34).

Conclusion: A high prevalence of B. tropicalis was found in this study. The factors associated with AR and CARAS are like those described in high-income tropical countries. Further studies are needed in low- or middle-income tropical countries to identify modifiable factors associated with allergic diseases.

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