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Keywords:

  • wheeze;
  • atopy;
  • fish;
  • fruity vegetables

Epidemiological studies have shown inverse associations of asthma symptoms with fish, vegetable, and fruit intake. We evaluated the association between several dietary factors with wheeze and atopy among children in Menorca, a Spanish Mediterranean island. A cross-sectional analysis was performed on 460 children at age 6.5 yr. Parents completed a questionnaire on the child's respiratory and allergic symptoms, and a 96-item food frequency questionnaire. Children underwent skin prick tests with six common aeroallergens. The average daily intake was relatively high for fruits (177 g) and fish (54 g), and moderate for vegetables (59 g). A high consumption (>40 g/day) of fruity vegetables (tomatoes, eggplants, cucumber, green beans, zucchini) was found to have beneficial effect on current wheeze [odds ratio (OR), 0.38; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.15–0.95, p < 0.05], and atopic wheeze with a significant decreasing trend when intake was increased (OR, 0.19; 95% CI, 0.04–0.95, p for trend = 0.04). No other fruits or vegetables were significantly associated with wheeze or atopy prevalence. An inverse association was found between a fish intake ≥60 g/day and atopy (OR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.21–0.90, p < 0.05). The associations remained significant after adjustment for energy intake and maternal diet during pregnancy. Our results support a potential protective effect of fruity vegetables and fish intake during childhood on wheeze and atopy respectively.