Cumulative evidence for association of rhinitis and depression

Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2021 Oct 24;17(1):111. doi: 10.1186/s13223-021-00615-5.


Background: Several primary studies evaluated the association between rhinitis and the incidence of depression and yielded inconsistent results. We conducted a meta-analysis of studies evaluating the association between rhinitis and depression.

Methods: We searched the EMBASE, PubMed and Cochrane Library databases for studies published in English before April 1, 2019. The studies were included if they reported any type of rhinitis in relation to depression. Two authors independently extracted the data. The odds ratios (ORs) were pooled using a random-effects model. Stratified analyses were conducted to evaluate the association.

Results: Among the 3472 initially identified studies, we included 14 studies involving a total of 19.36 ± 1.1 million participants according to predefined inclusion criteria. The associations between rhinitis (R), allergic rhinitis (AR), and nonallergic rhinitis (NAR) and depression were significant with ORs of 1.86 (95% CI 1.32 to 2.62, p < 0.05), 1.54 (95% CI 1.24 to 1.90, p < 0.05), and 2.15 (95% CI 1.49 to 3.09, p < 0.05), respectively. The results were consistent and statistically significant in all subgroup analyses.

Conclusions: Rhinitis was associated with an increased risk of depression. Further prospective studies involving large sample sizes are required to confirm the results by considering more confounders and clarify the mechanisms.

Keywords: Allergic rhinitis; Asthma; Depression; Rhinitis.

Publication types

  • Review