Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Depression Health Center

Font Size

Moldy Home, Depressed Dweller

Depression May Be Particularly Common in People Living in Damp or Moldy Homes
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Aug. 29, 2007 -- Living in a damp or moldy home may be depressing, according to a new study on household mold and depression.

The researchers stop short of blaming depression on moldy homes. But they see reason for more research on the topic.

The study included more than 5,800 adults living in nearly 3,000 homes in eight European cities in France, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, and Lithuania.

Participants completed surveys about depression symptoms in the previous two weeks. Nine percent of them were classified as depressed, report Edmond Shenassa, ScD, and colleagues.

The researchers also visited participants' homes to gauge the homes' mold and dampness and to ask participants if they felt "in control" of their homes. More than half of the participants -- 57% -- lived in homes that weren't moldy or damp.

Depressed participants were particularly likely to live in damp or moldy homes, especially those who felt that their homes were out of control.

Social and economic status didn't fully explain the results.

"We thought that once we statistically accounted for factors that could clearly contribute to depression -- things like employment status and crowding -- we would see any link vanish," says Shenassa, who works in Providence, R.I. in the community health department of Brown University's medical school.

"But the opposite was true. We found a solid association between depression and living in a damp, moldy home," Shenassa says.

The study doesn't prove that household mold causes depression. The researchers couldn't control for every possible depression risk factor -- and they couldn't prove which came first -- depression or household mold.

"What the study makes clear is the importance of housing as an indicator of health, including mental health," says Shenassa.

The study appears in the upcoming October edition of the American Journal of Public Health.

Today on WebMD

Differences between feeling depressed and feeling blue.
jk rowling
Famous people who've struggled with persistent sadness.
depressed man sitting on hallway floor
Learn the truth about this serious illness.
Sad woman looking out of the window
Tips to stay the treatment course.
unhappy teen boy
Health Check
jk rowling
Pills with smiley faces
Teen girl huddled outside house
Depressed man sitting in hospital hallway
antidepressants slideshow
pill bottle
Winding path