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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter August 23, 2019

Mood Worsening on Days with High Pollen Counts is associated with a Summer Pattern of Seasonality

Faisal Akram, Tyler B. Jennings, John W. Stiller, Christopher A. Lowry and Teodor T. Postolache
From the journal Pteridines

Abstract

Background: Summer/spring-type seasonal affective disorder (S-SAD) is the less common subtype of seasonal affective disorder and evidence regarding potential triggers of S-SAD is scarce. Recent reports support association of airborne-pollen with seasonal exacerbation of depression (mood seasonality) and timing of suicidal behavior. Therefore, we hypothesized that Old Order Amish (OOA) with summer/spring pattern of seasonality (abbreviated as summer pattern) and S-SAD will have significant mood worsening on high pollen days.

Methods: A seasonal pattern of mood worsening and SAD parameters were estimated using Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire (SPAQ). Age- and gender-adjusted ANCOVAs and post hoc analyses were conducted to compare mood worsening on days with high pollen counts between summer-pattern vs no-summer-pattern of mood worsening, S-SAD vs no-S-SAD, winter-pattern vs no-winter-pattern of mood worsening, and W-SAD vs no-W-SAD groups.

Results: The prevalence of S-SAD was 0.4%, while 4.5% of individuals had a summer pattern of mood seasonality. A statistically significant difference for mood worsening on high pollen days was observed between summer-pattern vs no-summer-pattern of mood worsening (p = 0.006). The significant association between S-SAD vs no-SAD groups (p = 0.032) for mood worsening on high pollen days did not withstand Bonferroni adjustment for multiple comparisons. No significant association was found for winter-pattern vs no-winter-pattern of mood worsening (p = 0.61) and for W-SAD vs no-W-SAD (p = 0.19) groups.

Conclusion: Our results are consistent with previous studies implicating links between aeroallergen exposure and summer pattern of seasonality, but not the winter pattern of seasonality.

List of Abbreviations

BDI-II:

Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-) II

IDO-1:

Indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase-1

OOA:

Old Order Amish

SAD:

Seasonal Affective Disorder

S-SAD:

Summer/spring-type Seasonal Affective Disorder

W-SAD:

Fall/winter-type Seasonal Affective Disorder

ANCOVA:

Analysis of Co-Variance

SPAQ:

Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire

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Received: 2019-05-03
Accepted: 2019-06-22
Published Online: 2019-08-23

© 2019 Faisal Akram et al., published by De Gruyter Open

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License.

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