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Symptoms of allergic rhinitis need to be considered at asthma reviews

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Poor asthma control is associated with self-reported rhinitis, smoking and low medication adherence.

These are the conclusions of a study involving 3,916 people who were prescribed inhaled corticosteroids for asthma at 85 GP practices in the UK.

The researchers found that the degree of rhinitis was an important factor in asthma control as those with severe rhinitis reported the worst asthma symptoms. There was also a relationship between the number of cigarettes smoked each day and asthma control.

Professor David Price, professor of primary care respiratory medicine at the University of Aberdeen and one of the study authors, said: “Poor control associated with rhinitis and asthma results in reduced ability to lead a normal life and undertake usual activities. However, if allergic rhinitis is treated appropriately we can potentially improve the control of a patient’s asthma and reduce the risk of attacks.”

The authors suggest using a brief self-report questionnaire to identify modifiable risk factors as part of an asthma review.

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