Respir Med. 2008 Mar 18 [Epub ahead of print]


Diet among Japanese female university students and asthmatic symptoms, infections, pollen and furry pet allergy.


Takaoka M, Norback D. Department of Biosphere Sciences, School of Human Sciences, Kobe College, Kobe, Japan.



OBJECTIVES: To study associations between diet, respiratory symptoms and allergy among female university students in Japan.


METHODS: A standardised questionnaire was distributed to students in Kobe and Kamakura (N=153). Multiple logistic/linear regression was applied, controlling for age, smoking, heredity and diet.


RESULTS: Totally 15.7% reported doctor-diagnosed asthma, 3.3% current asthma medication, 56.9% pollen allergy, 15.7% cat allergy, 11.1% dog allergy, 25.0% wheeze, 24.2% daytime and 9.3% nocturnal attacks of breathlessness. Meat consumption was related to wheeze (OR=2.00; 95% CI 1.12-3.60) and respiratory infections (OR=2.10; 95% CI 1.08-4.09). Fish consumption was related to less respiratory infections (OR=0.49; 95% CI 9.28-0.86), seafood to less pollen allergy (OR=0.66; 95% CI 0.44-0.99), and milk consumption to less daytime breathlessness (OR=0.72; 95% CI 0.55-0.95). Fast food consumption was related to wheeze (OR=1.89; 95% CI 1.23-2.91), daytime breathlessness (OR=1.50; 95% CI 1.00-2.28) and pollen allergy (OR=1.69; 95% CI 1.07-2.65). In total, 23.0% used butter, 21.7% margarine, 40.1% olive oil and 55.3% rapeseed oil. Those consuming butter (OR=2.65; 95% CI 1.11-6.32) and rapeseed oil (OR=2.35; 95% CI 1.03-5.38) had more wheeze. Those consuming margarine had more nocturnal breathlessness (OR=4.40; 95% CI 1.42-13.7). An asthma symptom score was related to fast food (p<0.05) and margarine consumption (p<0.01). Factor analysis identified five dietary patterns. A pattern including fast food, juice and soft drinks was related to wheeze and respiratory infections.


CONCLUSION: Fish, seafood and milk consumption seems to be beneficial, while butter, margarine, rapeseed oil, fast food and soft drinks could be risk factors for allergy and respiratory health.



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