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Posts Tagged ‘allergies and suicide’

HealthDay (5/27, Gardner, http://tinyurl.com/allergies-depression) reported that allergies may increase the risk for depression. “Depression is a very common disorder and allergies are even more common,” said study author Dr. Partam Manalai, in the department of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.  “Allergies make one more prone to worsening mood, cognition and quality of life.”  A large peak in pollen particles floating in the air occurs in the spring, with a smaller peak in the fall.  This coincides with a worldwide spike in suicides every spring and a lower peak in the fall.  Manalai and his colleagues recruited 100 volunteers from Baltimore and Washington, D.C., who had major depression, half were allergic and half were not allergic to trees and/or ragweed pollen.  Volunteers were evaluated during both high and low pollen seasons, and also had levels of their IgE antibodies (a measure of sensitivity to allergens) measured.  “Patients with mood disorders who were allergic to an aeroallergen experienced a worsening in mood when they were exposed to the allergen,” Manalai said. “Patients who have both of these disorders might be more vulnerable to depression in peak pollen season,” he suggested.  “Treating those conditions might prevent them from having a depressive episode during high-pollen season,” Manalai added.  The findings might also help determone how much of the depression associated with allergy is psychological and how much is biological.  With that knowledge in hand, researchers may be able to find new therapies.

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According to MedWire (http://tinyurl.com/allergies-and-suicide 12/23, Davenport)  a history of seasonal allergies is associated with an increased risk for suicide ideation, but not attempts.  Erick Messias (Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, USA) and colleagues explain that previous studies have indicated an association between atopy and mood, and “a seasonality of suicide has also been described.”  The researchers found that a history of seasonal allergies was associated with a statistically significant 1.27-fold increased risk for suicide ideation.  However, a history of seasonal allergies was not associated with a significantly increased risk for suicide attempts, at an odds ratio of 1.17.  Messias and team conclude: “In a large, nationally representative sample of the English speaking US population, history of seasonal allergies was associated with suicidal ideation without attempts.” 

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