SAN DIEGO — Eosinophil counts in the colon are associated with current but not incident depression, according to study results presented at Digestive Disease Week.
Anna Andreasson, PhD, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, said that eosinophils are normal in the GI tract — except in the esophagus — but they can be impacted by mood.
“People with depression often display elevated levels of inflammatory markers compared to healthy controls,” she said in her presentation. “We hypothesized that there might be a direct association between colonic eosinophilia and mood. The main aim of this study was to investigate the association between intestinal eosinophilia and current and incident depression.”
Researchers performed a random population study using data from the PopCol cohort study that included information on colonoscopies with biopsies collected from 2002 to 2006 in Sweden. Of 745 total samples, researchers counted eosinophils in 161 individuals.
Investigators measured current depression using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression score (HADS) and identified individuals with incident depression using ICD-10 codes from health care visits.
Andreasson and colleagues found an association between eosinophil counts in transverse (beta = 0.23; P = .028) and sigmoid colon (beta = 0.28; P = .001) and HADS current depression scores independent of smoking, age or sex. They did not find a link between eosinophils counts in the terminal ileum, cecum and rectum.
Additionally, researchers found no link between eosinophil counts and incident depression.
“The result from the present study supports that there is a direct association between colonic eosinophilia and depression symptom severity in a general population,” Andreasson concluded. “We need to do future studies to elucidate what the causality of this association is.” - by Alex Young
Andreasson A, et al. Abstract 269; Presented at: Digestive Disease Week; May 18-21, 2019; San Diego
Disclosures: Andreasson reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the meeting disclosure index for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.