Diet may affect the development of asthma. We investigated whether asthma or atopy outcomes at 8 yrs of age were associated with long-term dietary exposure, and whether associations were different for consumption at early or later age. The Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy (PIAMA) birth cohort enrolled 4,146 participants at baseline, who were followed up to 8 yrs of age. Dietary intakes of interest were fruit, vegetables, brown/wholemeal bread, fish, milk, butter and margarine. Associations between food intake at early (2-3 yrs) and later (7-8 yrs) age, and long-term intake, asthma and atopy at 8 yrs of age were calculated by logistic regression. Complete longitudinal dietary data for at least one of the food groups were available for 2,870 children. Fruit consumption at early age was associated with reduced asthma symptoms (OR per 1 consumption day per week increase 0.93, 95% CI 0.85-1.00). Long-term fruit intake was inversely associated with asthma symptoms (OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.82-0.99) and sensitisation to inhaled allergens (OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.82-0.99). We found no consistent associations between diet and outcomes for other foods. This study indicates no consistent effects of increased early or late consumption, or long-term intake of certain foods on asthma and atopy in 8-yr-olds, with a possible exception for fruit. Copyright

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The European Respiratory Journal
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Willers, S., Wijga, A., Brunekreef, B., Scholtens, S., Postma, D. S., Kerkhof, M., … Smit, H. (2011). Childhood diet and asthma and atopy at 8 years of age: The PIAMA birth cohort study. The European Respiratory Journal, 37(5), 1060–1067. doi:10.1183/09031936.00106109