Associations of dietary diversity with allergic diseases in Japanese workers: a cross-sectional study

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2019;28(4):857-869. doi: 10.6133/apjcn.201912_28(4).0023.


Background and objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the associations of dietary diversity with prevalences of allergic diseases.

Methods and study design: The participants were 1,317 men and women aged 20 to 63 years who were living in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan during the period 2012-2013. We obtained anthropometric data and information on lifestyle characteristics and current medical histories of allergic diseases using a self-administered questionnaire. Dietary intake was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire, and dietary diversity was determined using the Quantitative Index for Dietary Diversity (QUANTIDD). The ORs and 95% CIs for each of the allergic diseases with a 1 standard deviation (SD) increase in the QUANTIDD score were estimated, controlling for age, family history of allergic diseases, education, smoking, drinking, physical activity, energy intake and BMI.

Results: Higher dietary diversity showed significant inverse dose-response relationships with allergic diseases and allergic rhinitis in women. Multivariate-adjusted ORs (95% CI) for allergic diseases and allergic rhinitis with 1 SD increase in the QUANTIDD score were 0.77 (95% CI: 0.60-0.98, p=0.037) and 0.69 (95% CI: 0.53-0.90, p=0.007), respectively, in women. There were no significant associations between dietary diversity and allergic diseases in men.

Conclusions: The results indicate that there is an inverse association between higher dietary diversity and allergic rhinitis in Japanese female workers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / epidemiology*
  • Diet / standards*
  • Female
  • Food / classification*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rhinitis, Allergic / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult