Mediterranean diet is associated with reduced asthma and rhinitis in Mexican children

Authors

  • J. De Batlle,

    1. Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain
    2. Municipal Institute of Medical Research (IMIM-Hospital del Mar), Barcelona, Spain
    3. CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain
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  • J. Garcia-Aymerich,

    1. Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain
    2. Municipal Institute of Medical Research (IMIM-Hospital del Mar), Barcelona, Spain
    3. CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain
    4. Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona, Spain
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  • A. Barraza-Villarreal,

    1. Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública de México, Morelos, Mexico
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  • J. M. Antó,

    1. Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain
    2. Municipal Institute of Medical Research (IMIM-Hospital del Mar), Barcelona, Spain
    3. CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain
    4. Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona, Spain
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  • I. Romieu

    1. Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública de México, Morelos, Mexico
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Isabelle Romieu
Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública
655 Avenida Universidad
Col. Santa Maria Ahuacatitlán
62508, Cuernavaca
Morelos
Mexico

Abstract

Background:  Diet during pregnancy and childhood has been suggested to play an important role in children’s asthma risk. We assessed whether the adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern, for children in the last 12 months and their mothers during pregnancy, was associated with both childhood asthma and allergic rhinitis.

Methods:  A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2004 using a random sample of 1476 children (6- to 7-year old) from the Mexicali region, Mexico. Dietary data of children’s intake in the last 12 months and their mothers’ intake during pregnancy was collected, through a parental food frequency questionnaire. A Mediterranean diet score was computed [Trichopoulou et al., N Engl J Med 348 (2003), 2599]. Data on seven asthma and rhinitis-related outcomes were obtained from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire.

Results:  Adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern was inversely associated with asthma ever (OR = 0.60, 95% CI = 0.40–0.91), wheezing ever (0.64, 0.47–0.87), rhinitis ever (0.41, 0.22–0.77), sneezing ever (0.79, 0.59–1.07), current sneezing (0.71, 0.52–0.96) and current itchy-watery eyes (0.63, 0.42–0.95). No associations were found using the mothers’ pregnancy diet score, except for current sneezing (0.71, 0.53–0.97).

Conclusions:  Our findings suggest a protective effect of following a healthy dietary pattern on asthma and allergic rhinitis in Mexican children.

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