Allergy, Living and Learning: Diagnosis and Treatment of Allergic Respiratory Diseases in Europe

T. Chivato*, E. Valovirta, R. Dahl, J. de Monchy, A. Bloch Thomsen, S. Palkonen, L. Jacobsen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Allergy Living and Learning (ALL) is a European initiative designed to increase knowledge and understanding of people living with allergies in order to improve respiratory allergy care.

    Objectives: To investigate diagnostic and treatment patterns associated with respiratory allergies, patients' perception of their treatment, and restrictions on daily activities.

    Methods: Using a telephone-based randomized screening method, we recruited and analyzed 7004 patients (aged 16-60 years) with self-reported respiratory allergic disease from 10 European countries. Patients answered questions assessing their knowledge, experience, and perception of their condition and its treatment. Data analyses were descriptive.

    Results: The most prevalent conditions were allergic rhinitis (66%) and asthma (26%), and the average duration of the symptoms of respiratory allergy was 14.5 years. Over 30% of patients had never had a specific diagnostic test.

    About 80% of patients used medication for their respiratory allergy, and 10% of those not receiving treatment had severe symptoms. One-third of patients were not satisfied with their treatment, and two-thirds experienced restrictions in daily activities. Medication was most commonly taken in the form of tablets and nasal spray. Allergy-specific immunotherapy was received by 16% of patients. Knowledge of specific immunotherapy was low overall and varied widely by country: 30% of patients (country range, 10%-52%) had never heard of this treatment option.

    Conclusions: A notable proportion of individuals with respiratory allergy in Europe are underdiagnosed, undertreated, and dissatisfied with their treatment. Addressing these shortcomings may help to optimize respiratory allergy care and, ultimately, quality of life.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)168-179
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of investigational allergology and clinical immunology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Allergy diagnosis
    • Allergic rhinitis
    • Asthma
    • Pharmacological treatment
    • Allergy medication
    • Allergy-specific immunotherapy
    • ASTHMA
    • IMPACT
    • SAFETY

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