More Chronic Hives Research, Please
Last updated: March 2023
The Chronic-Hives.com community recently conducted the Chronic Hives In America Survey. Several questions focused on experiences with diagnosis and treatment. Responses from survey respondents show that community members wish there was more research on chronic hives and treatments for the condition.
Road to diagnosis
A chronic hives diagnosis is a long process for most people. The survey asked how many doctors a person visited. Responses show that 65 percent of respondents had to see 3 or more doctors for an official diagnosis. Only 11 percent achieved diagnosis with one doctor. A long journey to diagnosis delays treatment.
Chronic hives are difficult to manage. There are many triggers. Often, triggers are unavoidable. This increases the challenge of achieving remission. The survey asked respondents to select chronic hives outbreak triggers from a list. On average, respondents selected around 4 triggers from the list. The list shows the variety of chronic hives triggers. The most common triggers include:
- Heat or cold – 53 percent
- Stress – 52 percent
- Pressure on the skin – 49 percent
- Anxiety – 48 percent
- Scratching – 41 percent
Other fairly common triggers include:
- Certain foods – 22 percent
- Infections (viral or bacterial) – 22 percent
- Chemical irritants (detergent) – 21 percent
- Sunlight – 19 percent
- Pollen – 18 percent
- Exercise – 16 percent
Less common triggers (15 percent or less) include:
- Menstrual cycle
- Insects or parasites
- Pain medicine
- Forgetting to take medication
- Other illnesses
Treatment plan effectiveness
The number of chronic hives outbreaks measures treatment plan effectiveness. The survey asked respondents how well their current treatment plan manages symptoms. Only 3 out of 10 reported extremely well-controlled chronic hives symptoms on their current plan.
No notable difference in symptom control resulted from the following:
- Injectable medicine
- Respondent gender or race
- Respondent age (under 40 versus over 40)
- Time since diagnosis
- The doctor treating
Treatment plan choices
The survey also asked about current treatment plans. More than 50 percent of respondents strongly agreed that they:
- Do a good job of following their treatment plan
- Rely on a doctor’s recommendations for treatment and drugs
- Worry that they will be on chronic hives drugs for their entire life
More than 40 percent affirmed that they would prefer to make lifestyle or dietary changes. Plus, 27 percent of respondents recently stopped a drug due to side effects.
When living with chronic hives, the goal is to achieve remission. Finding and maintaining an effective treatment plan contributes to remission. Sadly, remission is elusive for many. Nearly half of the survey respondents have never gone into remission.
Most of the half who have gone into remission are newly in remission. Around 40 percent have been in remission for a year or less. Only 10 percent have been in remission for 5 years or more.
Respondents want to see more research and drug options for chronic hives. Notably, no respondents are currently participating in a clinical trial. Only 2 percent have respondents have participated in a clinical trial in the past. However, more than 50 percent would participate in a chronic hives clinical trial if available.
Other chronic health concerns
Nearly all survey respondents manage other chronic health conditions. The most common were anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. Respondents also mentioned various arthritic, skin, and autoimmune diseases.
The 2022 Chronic Hives In America survey was conducted online from January 2022 through March 2022. The survey was completed by 201 people.
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