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

Allergy. 2006 Apr;61(4):438-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2005.00927.x.


Background: 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.

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusions: 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Energy Intake
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Recurrence
  • Respiratory Sounds / etiology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated