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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Apr;133(4):1084-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.12.1069. Epub 2014 Jan 25.

Food diversity in infancy and the risk of childhood asthma and allergies.

Author information

1
School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland; Allergy & Respiratory Research Group, Center for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom. Electronic address: bright.nwaru@uta.fi.
2
School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland; Nutrition Unit, Department of Lifestyle and Participation, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.
3
Department of Pediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland; Hjelt Institute, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
4
Division of Nutrition, Department of Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
5
School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland; Science Center of Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Tampere, Finland.
6
Environmental Epidemiology Unit, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Kuopio, Finland; Unit of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
7
Department of Pediatrics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
8
Department of Pediatrics, Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.
9
Immunogenetics Laboratory, University of Turku, Turku, Finland; Department of Clinical Microbiology, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
10
Medical School, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland; Fimlab Laboratories, Tampere, Finland.
11
Department of Pediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland; Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland; Children's Hospital, University of Helsinki, and Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; Diabetes and Obesity Research Program, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
12
School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland; Nutrition Unit, Department of Lifestyle and Participation, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland; Department of Pediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland; Science Center of Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Tampere, Finland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recently, the bacterial diversity of the intestinal flora and the diversity of various environmental factors during infancy have been linked to the development of allergies in childhood. Food is an important environmental exposure, but the role of food diversity in the development of asthma and allergies in childhood is poorly defined.

OBJECTIVE:

We studied the associations between food diversity during the first year of life and the development of asthma and allergies by age 5 years.

METHODS:

In a Finnish birth cohort we analyzed data on 3142 consecutively born children. We studied food diversity at 3, 4, 6, and 12 months of age. Asthma, wheeze, atopic eczema, and allergic rhinitis were measured by using the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire at age 5 years.

RESULTS:

By 3 and 4 months of age, food diversity was not associated with any of the allergic end points. By 6 months of age, less food diversity was associated with increased risk of allergic rhinitis but not with the other end points. By 12 months of age, less food diversity was associated with increased risk of any asthma, atopic asthma, wheeze, and allergic rhinitis.

CONCLUSION:

Less food diversity during the first year of life might increase the risk of asthma and allergies in childhood. The mechanisms for this association are unclear, but increased dietary antigen exposure might contribute to this link.

KEYWORDS:

Asthma; allergic rhinitis; atopic eczema; children; food diversity; wheeze

PMID:
24472626
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaci.2013.12.1069
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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