Socioeconomic and geographical variation in general practitioner consultations for allergic rhinitis in England, 2003-2014: An observational study
Todkill D., Loveridge P., Elliot AJ., Morbey R., Lusignan SD., Edeghere O., Smith G.
© Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. Objective Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a global health problem, potentially impacting individuals' sleep, work and social life. We aimed to use a surveillance network of general practitioners (GPs) to describe the epidemiology of AR consultations in England. Setting A large GP surveillance network covering approximately 53% of the English population. Methods GP consultations for AR across England between 30 December 2002 and 31 December 2014 were analysed. Using more granular data available between 2 April 2012 and 31 December 2014 rates and rate ratios (RR) of AR were further analysed in different age groups, gender, rural-urban classification and index of multiple deprivation score quintile of location of GP. Results The mean weekly rate for AR consultations was 19.8 consultations per 100 000 GP registered patients (range 1.13-207), with a regular peak occurring during June (weeks 24-26), and a smaller peak during April. Between 1 April 2012 and 31 December 2014, the highest mean daily rates of consultations per 1 00 000 were: in age group 5-14 years (rate=8.02, RR 6.65, 95% CI 6.38 to 6.93); females (rate=4.57, RR 1.12 95% CI 1.12 to 1.13); persons registered at a GP in the most socioeconomically deprived quintile local authority (rate=5.69, RR 1.48, 95% CI 1.47 to 1.49) or in an urban area with major conurbation (rate=5.91, RR 1.78, 95% CI 1.69 to 1.87). Conclusions AR rates were higher in those aged 5-14 years, females and in urban and socioeconomically deprived areas. This needs to be viewed in the context of this study's limitations but should be considered in health promotion and service planning.