The long-term impact of allergen immunotherapy, particularly in older patients, is uncertain. The impact of sublingual allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) on grass pollen on elderly patients with allergic rhinitis over a three-year period was studied.
Thirty-eight elderly patients (63.18 ± 3.12 yrs.) were given AIT to grass pollen and were followed for three years before being compared to a placebo group. An oral Staloral 300 SR grass extract (Stallergens Greer, London, UK) or a placebo were used in AIT. The average adjusted symptom score (AAdSS), the blood level of IgG4 to Phl p5, and quality of life were measured immediately after AIT and three years afterward.
The AAdSS was considerably lower after AIT and stayed lower for three years after AIT than in the placebo group. During the AIT experiment, the research group’s serum-specific IgG4 against Phl p5 rose. Compared with the data immediately after AIT, there were no significant changes in specific IgG4 levels against the investigated allergens throughout the three years of surveillance after AIT. The quality of life in patients who underwent AIT declined substantially from 1.83 (95% CI: 1.45–1.96) to 0.74 (95% CI: 0.39–1.92) (p < 0.05) to 0.82 (95% CI: 0.45– 1.04) three years following AIT, according to the Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire. In elderly individuals with allergic rhinitis, AIT to grass pollen had a long-lasting beneficial impact. More research is needed to validate this impact.