Topical Area: Nutritional Epidemiology
The aim of this study is to examine whether food allergy (FA) is associated with depression/psychological distress in a large Japanese sample.
This web-based survey was conducted on a platform of “Yahoo! JAPAN -HealthData Lab” and the Genequest Inc. (Tokyo, Japan). Participants were 1000 individuals with self-reported history of depression (mean age: 41.4 years, 501 men and 499 women) and the remaining 10,876 controls (mean age: 45.1 years, 5691 men and 5185 women). Six-item Kessler scale (K6) test cut-off score ≥ 13 was used to estimate severe psychological distress. We gained self-reported information on FA and 27 specific food allergens.
Results : The proportion of individuals with FA, 2 or more, 3 or more, and 4 or more allergens was higher in the depression group compared to the control group (odds ratio [OR]=1.64, 1.75, 2.02, and 2.27, respectively; p< 0.001). Allergen analyses revealed that allergies for shrimp, egg, mackerel, crab, kiwi fruit, milk, banana, and squid were more common in the depression group compared to the control group (p < 0.05). Individuals who had severe psychological distress was more common in the FA group than in the non-FA group, in the total participants (OR=1.32, 1.62, 2.04 and 2.51; 1, 2, 3, and 4 or more allergens, respectively; p< 0.001).
We suggest that FA is likely to be a risk factor for depression and severe psychological distress, which is dependent on the number of food allergens.
Funding Sources : This work was supported by an Intramural Research Grant for Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders of National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry.