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Eur Respir J. 2004 Apr;23(4):575-82.

Food and fatty acid intake and atopic disease in adults.

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  • 1Institute of Epidemiology, GSF National Research Center for Environment and Health, Neuherberg, Postfach 11 29, D-85758 Oberschleissheim, Germany.


The aim of the study was to assess the relationship between dietary intake of selected foods and fatty acids with atopic disease prevalence in adults. Data from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey in Erfurt, combined with a 3-day weighed records dietary survey, was used. Complete data was available from 469 males and 333 females aged 20-64 yrs. Multiple logistic regression was applied comparing the highest with the lowest quartile of dietary exposures and linear trends were tested stratified by sex. In males, margarine intake and a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids were positively associated with hay fever. In females, a high intake of total fat, palmitoleic and oleic acids were positively associated with sensitisation. A high total fat, high monounsaturated fatty acid and high oleic acid consumption were positively associated with hay fever. Whilst an excessive intake of fat or imbalance in fat intake, particular of monounsaturated fatty acids, increased the risk for hay fever and allergic sensitisation in females, mostly no significant associations were found for males. Dietary factors were mostly not related with prevalence rates of bronchial hyperresponsiveness and atopic eczema either in males or in females.

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