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Int J Psychiatry Med. 2007;37(1):11-22.

Self-reported allergies and their relationship to several Axis I disorders in a community sample.

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  • 1Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.



Several community studies have identified associations between allergies and depressive symptoms. In this study, we evaluated the association between self-reported allergies and several Axis I disorders in a community population.


The data source was the 2002 Canadian Community Health Study. This study included the Composite International Diagnostic Interview, and collected self-report data about food and environmental allergies. Crude associations were estimated and logistic regression was subsequently used to adjust for demographic variables.


Self-reported allergies to food and non-food allergies were associated with mood and anxiety disorders, but not to substance dependence. The adjusted odds ratio for major depression in subjects reporting food allergies was 1.8 (95% CI 1.5-2.3) and for other allergies was 1.5 (95% CI 1.2-1.7). Associations of comparable strength were observed for bipolar disorder and for panic disorder/agoraphobia. The association with social phobia was statistically significant, but not as strong.


Cross-sectional epidemiological data are most useful for descriptive purposes. This study is the first to confirm the presence of an association between allergies and mood and anxiety disorders, as opposed to symptom ratings, in a general population sample. Substance use disorders are not associated with self-reported allergies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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