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J Affect Disord. 2019 Feb 15;245:213-218. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.10.119. Epub 2018 Oct 26.

Food allergy is associated with depression and psychological distress: A web-based study in 11,876 Japanese.

Author information

1
Department of Mental Disorder Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1, Ogawa-Higashi, Kodaira, Tokyo, 187-8502, Japan.
2
Genequest Inc., 5-29-11, Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 108-0014, Japan.
3
Department of Mental Disorder Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1, Ogawa-Higashi, Kodaira, Tokyo, 187-8502, Japan. Electronic address: hkunugi@ncnp.go.jp.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although some studies suggest a possible association between food allergy (FA) and depression/psychological distress, empirical data are still scarce. We aimed to examine whether this association exists in a large sample of the Japanese population.

METHODS:

This web-based cross-sectional survey included 1000 individuals with self-reported lifetime history of clinical depression (mean age: 41.4 years, 501 men), and the remaining 10,876 subjects served as controls (mean age: 45.1 years, 5691 men). A six-item Kessler scale (K6) test was used to evaluate severe psychological distress. Information on FA was obtained by a self-report checking for 27 specific allergens.

RESULTS:

Participants with FA, 2 or more, 3 or more, and 4 or more allergens were more common in the depression group than in the control group (odds ratio [OR] = 1.64, 1.75, 2.02, and 2.27, respectively; p < 0.001). In the allergen analyses, allergies for shrimp, egg, mackerel, crab, kiwi fruit, milk, banana, and squid (nominal, p < 0.05) were more common in the depression group than in the controls. The proportion of individuals who had a K6 test cut-off score ≥ 13 was higher in the FA group than in the non-FA group, in the total sample (OR = 1.32, 1.62, 2.04 and 2.51; 1, 2, 3, and 4 or more allergens, respectively; p < 0.001).

LIMITATIONS:

The identification of FA and depression was based on self-reports.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our data suggest that FA is a risk factor for depression and severe psychological distress, which depends on the number of allergens.

KEYWORDS:

Allergen; Depression; Food allergy; Psychological distress

PMID:
30408639
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2018.10.119
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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