Is Atopy Related to Neuroticism, Stress, and Subjective Quality of Life?

Open access

Is Atopy Related to Neuroticism, Stress, and Subjective Quality of Life?

Different psychosocial characteristics have been associated with allergic disorders. The aim of this study was to examine whether atopic constitution and reports of allergic symptoms were related to personality trait of neuroticism, exposure to stressful life events and estimates of quality of life. Atopy was determined by skin prick test and reports of nasal and pulmonary allergy-related symptoms. Actively working individuals of both genders took part in the study (n=145, age range: 20 to 66 years). The participants were divided in three groups. The first group was composed of those with negative skin prick test and without symptoms (n=57), the second of those with positive skin prick test but without symptoms (n=28), and the third of those with positive skin prick test and symptoms (n=60). The groups did not differ significantly in neuroticism, exposure to stressful life events, or quality of life. Women reported more pronounced neuroticism and anxiety, higher exposure to stressful life events, and were less satisfied with their environment than men. In our sample of active workers we found no association of neuroticism, exposure to stressful life events, and quality of life with atopy and allergic symptoms.

Engel GL. The need for a new medical model: A challenge for biomedicine. Science 1977;196:129-36.

Cohen S, Herbert TB. Health psychology: Psychological factors and physical disease from the perspective of human psychoneuroimmunology. Ann Rev Psychol 1996;47:113-42.

Baum A, Posluszny DM. Health psychology: Mapping biobehavioral contributions to health and illness. Ann Rev Psychol 1999;50:137-63.

Kiecolt-Glaser JK, McGuire L, Robles TF, Glaser R. Emotions, morbidity, and mortality: New perspectives from psychoneuroimmunology. Ann Rev Psychol 2002;53:83-107.

Lutgendorf SK, Costanzo ES. Psychoneuroimmunology and health psychology: an integrative model. Brain Behav Immun 2003;17:225-32.

Lehrer P, Feldman J, Giardino N, Song HS, Schmaling K. Psychological aspects of asthma. J Consult Clin Psychol 2002;70:691-711.

Chida Y, Hamer M, Steptoe A. A Bidirectional relationship between psychosocial factors and atopic disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychosom Med 2008;70:102-16.

Goodwin RD, Castro M, Kovacs M. Major depression and allergy: does neuroticism explain the relationship? Psychosom Med 2006;68:94-8.

Houvinen E, Kaprio J, Koskenvuo M. Asthma in relation to personality traits, life satisfaction, and stress: A prospective study among 11 000 adults. Allergy 2001;56:971-7.

Buske-Kirschbaum A, Ebrecht M, Kern S, Gierens A, Hellhammer DH. Personality characteristics in chronic and non-chronic allergic conditions. Brain Behav Immun 2008;22:762-8.

Centanni S, Di Marco F, Castagna F, Boveri B, Casanova F, Piazzini A. Psychological issues in the treatment of asthmatic patients. Respir Med 2000;94:742-9.

Stauder A, Kovács M. Anxiety symptoms in allergic patients: identification and risk factors. Psychosom Med 2003;65:816-23.

Bell IR, Jasnoski ML, Kagan J, King DS. Is allergic rhinitis more frequent in young adults with extreme shyness? A preliminary survey. Psychosom Med 1990;52:517-25.

Kagan J, Snidman N, Julia-Sellers M, Johnson MO. Temperament and allergic symptoms. Psychosom Med 1991;53:332-40.

Sandberg S, Paton JY, Ahola S, McCann DC, McGuinness D, Hillary CR, Oja H. The role of acute and chronic stress in asthma attacks in children. Lancet 2000;356:982-7.

Kilpeläinen M, Koskenvuo M, Helenius H, Terho EO. Stressful life events promote the manifestation of asthma and atopic diseases. Clin Exp Allergy 2002;32:256-63.

Giardino ND, Schmaling KB, Afari N. Relationship satisfaction moderates the association between catastrophic cognitions and asthma symptoms. J Asthma 2002;39:749-56.

Wainwright NW, Surtees PG, Wareham NJ, Harrison BD. Psychosocial factors and incident asthma hospital admissions in the EPIC-Norfolk cohort study. Allergy 2007;62:554-60.

Turyk ME, Hernandez E, Wright RJ, Freels S, Slezak J, Contraras A, Piorkowski J, Persky VW. Stressful life events and asthma in adolescents. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2008;19:255-63.

Kovalenko PA, Hoven CW, Wu P, Wicks J, Mandell DJ, Tiet Q. Association between allergy and anxiety disorders in youth. Aust NZ J Psychiatry 2001;35:815-21.

Kovács M, Stauder A, Szedmák S. Severity of allergic complaints: the importance of depressed mood. J Psychosom Res 2003;54:549-57.

Friedman AH, Morris TL. Allergies and Anxiety in Children and Adolescents: A Review of the Literature. J Clin Psychol Med Settings 2006;13:323-36.

Hashizume H, Takigawa M. Anxiety in allergy and atopic dermatitis. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol 2006;6:335-9.

Barton C, Clarke D, Sulaiman N, Abramson M. Coping as a mediator of psychosocial impediments to optimal management and control of asthma. Respir Med 2003;97:747-61.

Smyth JM, Stone AA, Hurewitz A, Kaell A. Effects of writing about stressful experiences on symptom reduction in patients with asthma or rheumatoid arthritis: A randomized trial. JAMA 1999;281:1304-9.

Gerth van Wijk R. Allergy: a global problem. Quality of life. Allergy 2002;57:1097-110.

Johansson SGO, Bieber T, Dahl R, Friedmann P, Lanier B, Lockey RF, Motala C, Martell J, Platts-Mills TAE, Ring J, Thien F, Van Cauwenberge P, Williams HC. Revised nomenclature for allergy for global use: Report of the Nomenclature Review Committee of the World Allergy Organization, October 2003. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2004;113:832-6.

Timonen M, Jokelainen J, Silvennoinen-Kassinen S, Herva A, Zitting P, Xu B, Peltola O, Räsänen P. Association between skin test diagnosed atopy and professionally diagnosed depression: a Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort study. Biol Psychiatry 2002;52:349-55.

Timonen M, Jokelainen J, Hakko H, Silvennoinen-Kassinen S, Meyer-Rochow VB, Herva A, Räsänen P. Atopy and depression: results from the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort Study. Mol Psychiatry 2003;8:738-44.

Klokk M, Götestam KG, Mykletun A. There are no association between IgE levels and symptoms of anxiety and depression in the adult female general population. The Hordaland Health Study (HUSK). Nord J Psychiatry 2007;61:410-7.

Gomzi M, Bobic J, Radosevic-Vidacek B, Macan J, Varnai VM, Milkovic-Kraus S, Kanceljak-Macan B. Sick building syndrome: Psychological, somatic and environmental determinants. Arch Environ Health 2007;62:1-9.

Pizent A, Macan J, Jurasovic J, Varnai VM, Milkovic-Kraus S, Kanceljak-Macan B. Association of toxic and essential metals with atopy markers and ventilatory lung function in women and men. Sci Total Environ 2008;390:369-76.

Dreborg S, Frew A. Position paper: Allergen standardization and skin tests. The European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology Subcommittee on Skin Test. Allergy 1993;48(14 Suppl S):49-82.

Bousquet J, Van Cauwenberge P, Khaltaev N. The ARIA Workshop Group. Allergic rhinitis and its impact on asthma - ARIA Workshop Report. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2001;108:S147-S333.

NHLBI/WHO Workshop Report. Global strategy for asthma management and prevention. Bethesda (MD): National Institutes of Health; 1995.

WHOQOL Group. Development of the World Health Organization WHOQOL-BREF Quality of Life Assessment. Psychol Med 1998;28:551-8.

Radosevic-Vidacek B, Macan J, Koscec A. Stress and allergy. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol 2004;55:205-11.

Holmes TH, Rahe RH. The social readjustment rating scale. J Psychosom Res 1967;11:213-8.

Miller MA, Rahe RH. Life changes scaling for the 1999s. J Psychosom Res 1997;43:279-92.

Weider A, Brodman K, Mittelmann B, Wechsler D, Wolff HG. The Cornell Index. Psychosom Med 1946;8:411-3.

Weider A, Wolff HG, Brodman K, Mittelmann B, Wechsler D. Priručnik za Cornell Index. Jastrebarsko: Naklada Slap; 1997.

Timonen M, Jokelainen J, Herva A, Zitting P, Meyer-Rochow VB, Rasanen P. Presence of atopy in first-degree relatives as a predictor of a female proband's depression: results from the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort. Allergy Clin Immunol 2003;111:1249-54.

Macan J, Varnai VM, Maloča I, Kanceljak-macan B. Increasing trend in atopy markers prevalence in a Croatian adult population between 1985 and 1999. Clin Exp Allergy 2007;37:1756-63.

Nowak D, Ulrik CS, von Mutius E. Asthma and atopy: Has peak prevalence been reached? Eur Resp J 2004;23:359-60.

Almqvist C, Worm M, Leynaert B., Working group of GA2LEN WP 2.5. Gender. Impact of gender on asthma in childhood and adolescence: A GA2LEN review. Allergy 2008;63:47-57.

Schmaling KB, McKnight PE, Afari N. A prospective study of the relationship of mood and stress to pulmonary function among patients with asthma. J Asthma 2002;39:501-10.

Roman S, Belaise C, Martin J, Morris E, Raffi A. Childhood abuse and later medical disorders in women. Psychother Psychosom 2002;71:141-50.

Costa PT, Terracciano A, McCrae RR. Gender differences in personality traits across cultures: robust and surprising findings. J Pers Soc Psychol 2001;81:322-31.

Feingold A. Gender differences in personality: a meta-analysis. Psychol Bull 1994;116:429-56.

Kendler KS, Thornton LM, Prescott CA. Gender differences in the rates of exposure to stressful life events and sensitivity to their depressogenic effects. Am J Psychiatry 2001;158:587-93.

Skevington SM, Lotfy M, O'Connell KA. The World Health Organization's WHOQOL-BREF quality of life assessment: Psychometric properties and results of the international field trial. A Report from the WHOQOL Group. Quality Life Res 2004;13:299-310.

Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology

The Journal of Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health

Journal Information

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 1.117
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.335

CiteScore 2017: 1.24

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.341
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.494

Cited By


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 89 89 15
PDF Downloads 18 18 2