Friday, March 24, 2006

Is There A Link Between Allergies And Depression?

In a national survey of over 3,000 U.S. adults, researchers found that women with major depression were more likely to have allergies. Also noted was that men with nervous and anxious personalities also had allergies. These findings lead to the suggestion that there is a relationship between depression or neurotic personality traits and allergies. Although past studies have linked depression and allergies, it’s not clear which one leads to the other.
One hypothesis is that those who have neurotic personalities might be prone to both depression and allergies, which is already thought of as a risk factor for depression. One study found that those with depression were 50 percent more likely to have allergies than those without. And adults with neurotic personalities were 22 percent more likely to have allergies than those without. However, analysis showed that depression and allergies were linked only among women and in contrast, men with neurotic personalities had a higher risk of allergies, but there was no connection between depression and allergies. Researchers speculate that with depression, it’s possible that the disorder contributes to allergy development by impairing the immune system. On the other hand, those that have to deal with chronic allergies may become depressed.

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