Allergic rhinitis in adolescence increases the risk of depression in later life: a nationwide population-based prospective cohort study.

Research paper by Mu-Hong MH Chen, Tung-Ping TP Su, Ying-Sheue YS Chen, Ju-Wei JW Hsu, Kai-Lin KL Huang, Wen-Han WH Chang, Ya-Mei YM Bai

Indexed on: 15 Aug '12Published on: 15 Aug '12Published in: Journal of Affective Disorders


Many cross-sectional studies have suggested an association between allergic rhinitis (AR) and depression, but the timing relationship was not determined. Using a nationwide population-based prospective cohort study (1:4, age-/gender-matched), we hypothesized that AR in adolescence would increase the risk of depression in later life.In all, 1673 adolescents aged 12-15 that had AR between 1996 and 2000 were recruited for our study. Cases of major depressive disorder and any depressive disorder that occurred to the end of follow-up (December 31, 2010) were identified.Adolescents with AR had a higher prevalence of major depression (2.5% vs. 1.2%, p<0.001) and any depressive disorder (4.9% vs. 2.8%, p<0.001) and an earlier onset of major depression (19.31 ± 2.91 vs. 20.43 ± 2.71 years, p=0.038) and any depressive disorder (19.35 ± 2.63 vs. 20.43 ± 2.62 years, p=0.002) compared with the controls. The Cox regression model showed that adolescents with AR had increased HRs of major depression (HR: 1.59, 95% CI: 1.02-2.50) and any depressive disorder (HR: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.04-1.93) after controlling residence location and comorbid allergic diseases.The prevalence of depressive disorder may be underestimated because only those who had medicine-seeking behaviors were enrolled.This first cohort case-control study showed an association between AR in early adolescence and depression in late adolescence and early adulthood. Our results suggested that allergic responses played important roles in the development of depression.

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