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Allergy. 2006 Apr;61(4):438-42.

Dietary intake in sensitized children with recurrent wheeze and healthy controls: a nested case-control study.

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North West Lung Centre, Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, UK.



The rising prevalence of asthma and allergic disease remains unexplained. Several risk factors have been implicated including diet, in particular poly-unsaturated fats and antioxidant intake.


A nested case-control study comparing the dietary intake of sensitized children with recurrent wheeze (age 3-5 years) and nonsensitized children who had never wheezed was carried out within an unselected population-based cohort. Cases and controls were matched for age, sex, parental atopy, indoor allergen exposure and pet ownership. Dietary intake was assessed using a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire and nutrient analysis program.


Thirty-seven case-control pairs (23 male, mean age 4.4 years) participated. Daily total polyunsaturated fat intake was significantly higher in sensitized wheezers (g/day, geometric mean, 95% confidence intervals: 7.1, 6.4-7.9) compared with nonsensitized nonwheezy children (5.6, 5.0-6.3, P = 0.003). Daily omega-3 and omega-6 fat intakes were not significantly different between the two groups. No significant differences were found in intake of any antioxidant or antioxidant cofactors between the groups.


Young sensitized wheezy children had a significantly higher total polyunsaturated fat intake compared with nonsensitized nonwheezy children. However, we were unable to distinguish a significant difference in specific poly-unsaturated fat intakes. Otherwise the children in both groups had a very similar nutritional intake.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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