Clinical Remission of Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis-in a Longitudinal Population Study

Johanna Heldin, Andrei Malinovschi, Ane Johannessen, Kjell Alving, Mathias Holm, Karl A. Franklin, Bertil Forsberg, Vivi Schlünssen, Rain Jögi, Þórarinn Gíslason, Bryndís Benediktsdóttir, Cecilie Svanes, Christer Janson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background: Although asthma and allergic rhinitis are chronic diseases, some patients experience periods of remission. Information on prognostic factors associated with the remission of asthma and allergic rhinitis is valuable in resource prioritization. This study investigated factors associated with the clinical remission of asthma and allergic rhinitis. Methods: In the Respiratory Health In Northern Europe (RHINE) study, data was collected with questionnaires in stage one (RHINE I, 1989–1992) and two follow-ups (RHINE II, 1999–2001 and RHINE III, 2010–2012) from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Estonia. Clinical remission was defined as having reported asthma or allergic rhinitis in RHINE I or RHINE II but not in RHINE III. Results: Of 13,052 participants, 975 (7.5%) reported asthma in RHINE I or RHINE II, and 3379 (25.9%) allergic rhinitis. Clinical remission of asthma and allergic rhinitis was found in 46.4% and 31.8%, respectively. Living in Estonia (OR (95% CI) 2.44 (1.22– 4.85)) and living in an apartment (1.45 (1.06–1.98)) were related to remission of asthma, while subjects reporting allergic rhinitis (0.68 (0.51–0.90)), asthma onset ≤ 12 years of age (0.49 (0.35–0.68)), receiving treatment with antibiotics for respiratory illness (0.64 (0.47– 0.87)) were less likely to have asthma remission. Factors related to a higher likelihood of remission of allergic rhinitis were no asthma at baseline, age ≥ 58 years in RHINE III, allergic rhinitis onset after 12 years of age, living in rural areas as a child, having only a primary school education and not being pregnant. Conclusion: Clinical remission was found in almost one-half of those with asthma and one-third of persons with allergic rhinitis. Coexisting allergic symptoms were associated with less clinical asthma remission. Age, asthma symptoms and environmental factors in childhood, such as living in a rural area, were found to influence the clinical remission of allergic rhinitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1569-1578
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Asthma and Allergy
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
JH was financed by a grant from the Swedish Society of Medicine. The RHINE study was funded by the Swedish Heart and Lung Foundation, the Swedish Association Against Asthma and Allergy, the Swedish Association against Heart and Lung Disease, the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, the Bror Hjerpstedt Foundation, The Faculty of Health, Aarhus University, Denmark (Project No. 240008), The Wood Dust Foundation (Project No. 444508795), The Danish Lung Association, The Norwegian Research Council project 135773/330, The Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Association, The Icelandic Research Council and the Estonian Science Foundation (Grant No. 4350). Vivi Schlünssen, Thorarinn Gislason and Cecilie Svanes are members of the COST BM1201 network.

Publisher Copyright:
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Other keywords

  • allergic rhinitis
  • asthma
  • epidemiology
  • remission


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