INTERNATIONAL ARCHIVES OF ALLERGY AND IMMUNOLOGY, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)
Introduction: The severity of cat allergy-related symptoms varies widely. The rising prevalence of cat owning makes it a significant human health problem. The aim of this study was to evaluate disease severity and quality of life (QoL) aspects of cat sensitization and allergy in non-pet owners with allergic rhinitis (AR). Methods: In this study, 231 out of 596 patients with AR were enrolled. The disease severity and QoL measures of the non-pet owner patients were evaluated according to their demographics and allergen sensitizations. The data were re-gathered after cat exposure for cat-sensitized patients (n = 53). Results: The median age of the patients (174 females, 57 males) was 33 (18-70). The overall frequency of cat sensitization was 12.6% (75/596). The frequency of cat allergy in this cohort was 13.9% (32/231). Family history of atopy and multi-allergen sensitization were more common in the cat-sensitized patients. Disease severity and QoL scores were higher in the cat allergy group after cat exposure. Cat allergy was the major independent risk factor for the severity of AR and QoL measures. Conclusion: Due to the fact that indirect exposure to cat dander allergens can occur anywhere, even where cats are not present, cat-sensitized people should be aware of cat allergy. Cat allergy appears to be an independent risk factor for disease severity and QoL effects for non-pet owner patients with AR.