Higher rates of allergies, autoimmune diseases and low-grade inflammation markers in treatment-resistant major depression

Ari Lauden, Akim Geishin, Eugene Merzon, Andrew Korobeinikov, Ilan Green, Avivit Golan-Cohen, Shlomo Vinker, Iris Manor, Abraham Weizman, Eli Magen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Only 30% of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) reach full recovery or remission. Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is MDD that does not respond to adequate treatment attempts with at least two antidepressants. TRD is associated more with immune activation than with treatment responsive depression. The current retrospective population-based cross-sectional study, utilizing data from a large nation-wide health maintenance organization in Israel which provides services to estimated 725,000 members, aimed to assess the clinical signs and laboratory markers of autoimmune comorbidity and low-grade inflammation, in patients with TRD. Included were participants aged 18–70 years, diagnosed twice within one year with ICD-9-CM MDD and two control groups, MDD responders (MDD-r) consisting of people with MDD and no TRD and a non-MDD group that included people with no MDD or TRD. The case (570 subjects in TRD group) to control ratio in both control groups (2850 subjects in MDD-r and 2850 subjects in non-MDD control group) was 1:5. Compared to MDD-r, the overall proportion of allergic diseases was higher among the TRD than among the MDD-r [OR 1.52 (1.19–1.94); p ​< ​0.001]. Any systemic autoimmune disease was associated with increased likelihood of MDD-r [OR 1.52 (1.04–2.24); p ​= ​0.03] or TRD [OR 2.22 (1.30–3.78); p ​= ​0.003]. Higher rates of positive (>1:80) antinuclear antibodies [33 (5.79%)] were found among the TRD than among the MDD-r [98 (3.44%); p ​= ​0.011). More allergy and autoimmune comorbidities and presence of low-grade inflammation biomarkers, were found mainly in TRD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100313
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity - Health
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2021


  • Allergy
  • Autoimmune
  • Depression
  • Inflammation
  • Low-grade
  • Resistant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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