Allergic rhinitis increases the risk of incident panic disorder among young individuals: A nationwide population-based cohort study in Taiwan

J Affect Disord. 2019 Jun 1:252:60-67. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.04.037. Epub 2019 Apr 9.


Background: Studies have reported an association between allergy and panic disorder. However, few studies have explored the relationship between allergic rhinitis and panic disorder. Previous studies were limited by cross-sectional study designs, self-reported symptoms, absence of matched controls, and lack of consideration of the influence of steroid and comorbidities. This study aimed to explore the longitudinal association between allergic rhinitis and panic disorder in a large population-based cohort of young people.

Methods: In this study, 79,917 new cases of allergic rhinitis between 1998 and 2012 in individuals younger than 20 years were identified from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database. One control (nonallergic rhinitis) per case (allergic rhinitis) was randomly selected from the remaining sample, matching for age, sex, residence, and insurance premium. Both groups were followed until the end of 2013 for incidence of panic disorder. Cox regression analysis was performed, adjusting for sex, age, residence, insurance premium, systemic steroids, asthma, atopic dermatitis, allergic conjunctivitis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, and Charlson index.

Results: Allergic rhinitis was associated with a 2-fold increase in risk for panic disorder after adjustment for other variables. Additional independent risk factor of panic disorders were female sex, older age group, and depression.

Limitations: Lifestyle, substance use, smoking by the patient or family members, and psychosocial stressors were not evaluated.

Conclusions: Allergic rhinitis was associated with increased risk of panic disorder. Assessment and intervention of allergy rhinitis among young people with panic disorder are critical.

Keywords: Allergic rhinitis; Panic disorder; Young people.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • National Health Programs
  • Panic Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Rhinitis, Allergic / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Taiwan / epidemiology