SAN FRANCISCO — Allergy is associated with mental disorders such as depression in women who are pregnant, underscoring the need to address this comorbidity in clinical management and public health. This research was presented at the 2019 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting, held February 22-25, 2019.

This cross-sectional analysis included 86,085 participants from a birth cohort, with self-reported doctor’s diagnosis used to assess lifetime allergic disease prevalence. ImmunoCAP was used to assay allergen-specific and serum total immunoglobulin E titers. Maternal depression and anxiety were examined using Kessler’s K-6 Non-Specific Psychological Distress Scale (K-6), and the Medical Outcomes Survey Short Form-8 questionnaire (SF-8) was used to assess quality of life related to health.

An increased risk for depression (K-6 score ≥5) was seen in patients with eczema (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.17; 95% CI, 1.12-1.22), rhinitis (aOR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.17-1.24), asthma (aOR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.22-1.34), and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus with protease activity (aOR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.02-1.08). Allergic diseases like food allergy, eczema, rhinitis, and asthma had a negative association with the physical and mental health composite scores on the SF-8.

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The researchers concluded that “allergy in pregnant women is associated with mental disorders, such as depression, and contributes to lower quality of life. Our results highlight the importance of addressing allergy and mental health comorbidity as a public health and clinical management priority, to improve overall health.”

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Yamamoto-Hanada K, Saito M, Matsumoto K, Saito H, Ohya Y. Allergy, depression and quality of life among pregnant women in the Japan Environment and Children’s Study (JECS). Presented at: 2019 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting; February 22-25, 2019; San Francisco, CA. Abstract 847.