Call Us to Find a Therapist: 1-888-563-2112 ext.1

Find a Therapist on Your Own:

 

Suicide Rates Rise During Allergy Season

 

Allergens and pollen counts have been associated with various physical illnesses. People with allergies often have symptoms that include runny nose, watery eyes, itchiness, and overall feelings of being unwell during times of high pollen counts. In the springtime, pollen counts rise and can lead to exacerbation of mild allergy symptoms and can even cause allergy-induced asthma in some. But can pollen even affect psychological well-being, mortality, and more specifically, the risk of suicide?

Ping Qin of the National Centre for Register-Based Research at Aarhus University in Denmark wanted to extend the limited body of existing research on allergens and suicide. So Qin evaluated data that spanned a 25-year period to examine the suicide rates of over 2.6 million people. Qin considered gender, age, sex, location, peak allergy time, medication, and mood issues as risk factors and found that people with allergies had a 6.4% higher risk of suicide than those without during peak pollen count times. Men were more vulnerable to suicide as allergens began to rise while women were more vulnerable at the height of allergy season.

The results did not reveal specific age-related or location affects, suggesting pollen has a similar global affect regardless of location and type of allergens. However, Qin did notice that people with mood issues had a slightly elevated rate of suicide compared to those without mood issues. This could be affected by antihistamine medication, as some medications can increase mood problems and thus put people at heightened risk for suicide.

However, Qin adds that it could also be that individuals with mood issues are at a higher risk for suicide in general. Another possibility is that severe allergic reactions, such as asthma, could increase psychological symptoms and put people at higher suicide risk. In sum, these novel findings show a clear link between increased pollen counts and suicide rates in a large population based sample. Qin added, “If the relationship is confirmed, identifying the underlying molecular, cellular, physiopathological or pharmacological mechanisms will be important for defining new targets in suicide prevention.”

Reference:
Qin, P., Waltoft, B.L., Mortensen, P.B., et al. (2013). Suicide risk in relation to air pollen counts: A study based on data from Danish registers. BMJ Open 2013;3:e002462. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002462

© Copyright 2013 by www.GoodTherapy.org - All Rights Reserved.

Sign up for the GoodTherapy.org Newsletter!
Get weekly mental health and wellness news and information sent straight to your inbox!

  • Find the Right Therapist
  • Join GoodTherapy.org - Therapist Only
Comments
  • jon June 20th, 2013 at 11:21 AM #1

    Are there a whole lot of allergists who would be familiar with this? Because I have not once been asked by my doc if I feel low or depressed even when I am at my worst

  • Joseph June 21st, 2013 at 12:40 PM #2

    These two things CANNOT be related. Surely allergies are not so bad that they would cause you to have suicidal thoughts?! There has to be something else- what about the allergy meds bringing on suicidal thoughts?

  • charla y June 24th, 2013 at 4:23 AM #3

    So which is it- allergies, mood issues, meds? Too many variables here to be able to definitively point the finger at just one.

Leave a Reply

By commenting you acknowledge acceptance of GoodTherapy.org's Terms and Conditions of Use.

 

 

 

* = Required fields

Find the Right Therapist

Advanced Search | Browse Locations

Title Content Author
GoodTherapy.org is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptom or medical condition. Never disregard professional psychological or medical advice nor delay in seeking professional advice or treatment because of something you have read on GoodTherapy.org.

Recent Comments

  • Cason: I even love the name, Bipolar Out Loud, because this pretty much sums up the whole theory that I have about mental illness./ This needs to...
  • jayson: Yes this is me want the cake need the salad
  • Ron E.: We always hear that it can be for the best to leave the past behind us and while that is all well and good you still have to deal with the...
  • Savanna: Though we might never understand the reason behind it, it can be a time for learning and growth that we may have never had otherwise.
  • Annie: You never think that this could happen to you until it does and your entire world falls apart. You feel as if people are looking at you and...