Anxiety, Depression, and Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis (SAR)

Increasing evidences have indicated the strong connections between seasonal allergic
rhinitis (SAR) and psychological conditions, especially anxiety and depression. A recent study done in Germany explored the roles of anxiety and depression in the patients with SAR (Trikojat et al. 2017).

The study tested allergic, inflammatory and endocrine markers among 41 SAR patients and made comparisons with 42 healthy subjects during both pollen season and non-pollen season (Trikojat et al. 2017). In the study, the profiles of inflammatory cytokines included interleukins “IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-17, IFN-γ, TNF-α” and
Immunoglobulin-E (IgE). The researchers also examined hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) and sleep quality.

The study indicated that in comparison with non-symptom seasons and healthy subjects, the patients with SAR had much higher levels of depression (Trikojat et al. 2017). The conditions of depression were also related to the inflammatory parameters including IL-6, the ratios of IL-6/IL-10 and IFN-γ/IL-10, as well as poor sleep quality.

These observations revealed the strong connections between acute allergy and affective conditions, especially anxiety and depression (Trikojat et al. 2017). In addition, such connections may be mediated by inflammation and poor sleep conditions. Further studies are still needed to find out the detailed mechanisms and pathways that link anxiety with allergy.


Trikojat K, Luksch H, Rösen-Wolff A, Plessow F, Schmitt J, Buske-Kirschbaum A. “Allergic mood” – Depressive and anxiety symptoms in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) and their association to inflammatory, endocrine, and allergic markers. Brain Behav Immun. 2017 May 8. pii: S0889-1591(17)30151-4. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2017.05.005.

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