Seasonal allergies and psychiatric disorders in the United States

Hans Oh, Ai Koyanagi, Jordan E. Devylder, Andrew Stickley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Seasonal allergies have been associated with mental health problems, though the evidence is still emergent, particularly in the United States. We analyzed data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication and the National Latino and Asian American Survey (years 2001–2003). Multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine the relations between lifetime allergies and lifetime psychiatric disorders (each disorder in a separate model), adjusting for socio-demographic variables (including region of residence) and tobacco use. Analyses were also stratified to test for effect modification by race and sex. A history of seasonal allergies was associated with greater odds of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders, but not alcohol or substance use disorders, after adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics and tobacco use. The associations between seasonal allergies and mood disorders, substance use disorders, and alcohol use disorders were particularly strong for Latino Americans. The association between seasonal allergies and eating disorders was stronger for men than women. Seasonal allergies are a risk factor for psychiatric disorders. Individuals complaining of seasonal allergies should be screened for early signs of mental health problems and referred to specialized services accordingly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1965
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2018


  • African Americans
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Allergies
  • Asians
  • Latinos
  • Psychiatric disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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