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Ann Epidemiol. 2005 Mar;15(3):207-13.

Margarine consumption, asthma, and allergy in young adults: results of the German National Health Survey 1998.

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Department of Epidemiology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.



To examine whether frequent intake of margarine is associated with allergy prevalence in adults using data of a representative national health survey.


Data on 7124 subjects aged 18 to 79 years were obtained from the German National Health Survey 1998. Confounder-adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated by multiple logistic regression, using the frequency of intake of low-fat butter, regular and low-fat margarine as explanatory variable in relation to frequent intake of regular butter as reference group.


Frequent intake of margarine of any kind was positively associated with current asthma during the past 12 months in young adults aged 18 to 29 years (aOR, 2.33; 95% CI, 1.03-5.26). In subgroup analysis, the positive association was confined to frequent intake of low-fat margarine (4.51; 1.78-11.43) or the combination of low-fat margarine and low-fat butter (4.79; 1.84-12.44). Consumption of margarine of any kind was not related to hay fever, atopic dermatitis, and atopic sensitization to inhalant allergens.


Frequent intake of margarine rich in n-6 PUFA is not consistently associated with allergic diseases in adults. Other constituents of low-fat margarine or certain dietary habits and lifestyle factors, characterized by use of low-fat margarine, may be related to current asthma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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