The rise of asthma prevalence in children observed the last years might be related to several dietary factors/components as suggested by several researchers. We aimed to evaluate the potential relationship between certain nutrients intake and asthma occurrence in a population of pre-school children. In the framework of the cross-sectional study 'Growth, Exercise and Nutrition Epidemiological Study In pre-schoolers', data were collected from 1964 children, aged 24-72 months, living in five different counties in Greece. The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire was used to assess asthma related outcomes. Dietary intake was assessed with 3 days diet records. The prevalence of ever wheeze, current wheeze and diagnosed asthma was 37.7%, 27.5% and 10.5% respectively. Dietary intake of magnesium had a 0.5% and 0.6% increase in the reported risk of current wheeze and diagnosed asthma respectively. On the contrary a decrease in the prevalence of ever (OR: 0.997, 95% CI: 0.995-1.000) and current wheeze (OR: 0.996, 95% CI: 0.993-0.999) was associated with vitamin C intake. Calcium intake slightly decreased the risk of current wheeze (OR: 0.999, 95% CI: 0.998-0.999). An increase of 2% of the risk of reporting ever or current wheeze was associated with mono-unsaturated fatty acid intake. Magnesium intake was the only independent predictor for doctor's diagnosed asthma. We conclude that dietary intake of vitamin C and calcium seem to have a protective effect on the incidence of wheeze in pre-school children, whereas magnesium and mono-unsaturated fatty acid may have a harmful role.
- Fatty acids