Relationship Between Allergic Rhinitis and Mental Health in the General Korean Adult Population

Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2016 Jan;8(1):49-54. doi: 10.4168/aair.2016.8.1.49. Epub 2015 Jul 15.


Purpose: This study was conducted to evaluate the association between AR and mental health status in the general Korean adult population and to investigate the relative burden of AR on mental health using the Allergic Rhinitis and Its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) classification.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed by using data from 11,154 individuals, 19 years old or older in the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011-2012. Univariate analysis was conducted in the healthy AR groups with weighted prevalence of demographic characteristics, socioeconomic status, and comorbid diseases. Subanalysis that classified AR severity according to the ARIA classification was carried out to evaluate the relationship of AR severity with mental health. The odds ratios (ORs) for each component representing mental health status were estimated by multiple logistic regression analysis with confounder adjustment.

Results: Univariate analysis with the chi-square test after adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, smoking status, alcohol use status, and exercise status, components representing mental health status showed a linear relationship with the severity of AR according to the ARIA classification. Stress, depressive mood, suicidal thoughts, and psychological consultation factors were correlated with AR after adjustment for demographic characteristics and socioeconomic status. Even after adjustment for comorbid allergic diseases, the correlation remained significant with stress, depressive mood, and psychological consultation factors (OR [95% CI]; 1.227 [1.042, 1.445], 1.368 [1.095, 1.71], 1.804 [1.096, 2.969], respectively).

Conclusions: Patients with AR appear to be at higher risk of mental disorders in the general Korean adult population. Moreover, persistent or severe AR was correlated with poor mental health. Therefore, better control of AR may be conducive to better mental health, and more attention should be paid to the psychological status of AR patients.

Keywords: Allergic rhinitis; cross-sectional analysis; mental health; population-based planning.