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Prevalence and associated factors of respiratory allergies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A cross-sectional investigation, September–December 2020

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posted on 2023-07-26, 15:26 authored by Ahmad Almatroudi, Ayman M. Mousa, Divya Vinnakota, Adil Abalkhail, Ameen S. S. Alwashmi, Saleh A. Almatroodi, Fahad A. Alhumaydhi, Russell Kabir, Ilias Mahmud
Background: Prevalence of different respiratory allergies is increasing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Environmental risk factors of respiratory allergy vary regionally, hence the prevalence. This necessitates the needs for regional studies. This article reports prevalence and symptoms of respiratory allergies in the Qassim region, and the factors associated with the prevalence. Methods: Eight hundred and fifty individuals aged ≥18 years and were living in the Qassim region filled up our structured online questionnaire between September and December 2020. We estimated the prevalence of different respiratory allergies with 95% confidence intervals. Multi-variable logistic regression analyses were performed to investigate the risk factors of respiratory allergies. Findings: The prevalence of any respiratory allergy in the Qassim region was 28.8%. Most families (58.1%) had at least one member with respiratory allergy. The prevalence of allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma were 13.5% and 11.2% 4.1% respectively. The reported symptoms included runny nose (13.6%), red, watery, and itchy eyes (10.4%), difficulty sleeping at night (10.2%), difficulty breathing in cold weather (9.2%), noisy breathing (8.5%), sneezing (8%), repeated coughing (7.5%) and shortness of breath (6.4%). Individuals with a family history were more likely to report any respiratory allergy (OR: 7.8), bronchial asthma (OR: 4.2) and allergic rhinitis (OR: 8.1) compared to the individuals without such family history. Odds of respiratory allergies was higher among males (OR: 1.5). Saudi nationals were less likely to report allergic rhinitis than the non-Saudis (OR: 0.4). Among those who reported a respiratory allergy, most (73.5%) received treatment and majority (61.7%) demonstrated compliance to the treatment, 8.8% needed hospitalization, and 23.1% needed emergency nebulization. Conclusions: Prevalence reported in our study is different than that reported in other regions. Variability in the environmental exposures might explain this. We recommend a meta-analysis to estimate the national prevalence of respiratory allergies.



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