Asthma and hay fever linked to increased risk of psychiatric disorders
Patients with asthma and allergic rhinitis have a higher risk of developing psychiatric disorders. Almost 11% of patients with common allergic diseases developed a psychiatric disorder within a 15-year period, compared to only 6.7% of those without - a 1.66-fold increased risk.
Dr.Nian-Shang Tzeng, from Tri-Service General Hospital in Taiwan and lead author of the study and colleagues, conducted a study to find the link between the Asthma, allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and atopic dermatitis (eczema), three "A"s, and the overall risk of developing psychiatric disorders.
The researchers found that people with atopic dermatitis had a lower risk of developing a psychiatric disorder, while those with asthma and allergic rhinitis had a higher risk. The team discovered one more interesting fact that using certain asthma medications was associated with a lower risk of psychiatric disorders in asthma patients.
The researchers used an extensive database of health insurance claims in Taiwan, covering a 15-year period.The researchers identified 46,647 people in the database with allergic diseases and 139,941 without. Unlike previous studies, the researchers included patients of all ages. They found that over the 15-year period, 10.8% of people with allergic diseases developed a psychiatric disorder, compared with 6.7% of those with no allergic disease. This translated to a 1.66-fold increased risk of developing psychiatric disorders for people with an allergic disease.
Recent research suggests that inflammation is linked to psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety disorders. As allergies also involve inflammation, it is possible that it may contribute to psychiatric disorders in the same patients. The psychological stress of a psychiatric disorder might also contribute to physical symptoms.
"We would like to let clinicians who care for patients with allergic diseases know that their risk for psychiatric diseases may be higher," says Tzeng. "Assessing their emotional condition and monitoring their mental health could help to avoid later psychiatric problems."
The current study done by the researchers has established a relationship between three"A"s and psychiatry disorders but more research has to be done in order to find the cause and mechanism behind such relationship.The findings will have implications for how doctors care for and monitor patients with allergic diseases.
The study has been published in Journal Frontiers in Psychiatry.