Maternal dietary patterns during pregnancy and risk of wheeze and eczema in Japanese infants aged 16-24 months: the Osaka Maternal and Child Health Study

Yoshihiro Miyake, Hitomi Okubo, Satoshi Sasaki, Keiko Tanaka, Yoshio Hirota
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 2011, 22 (7): 734-41

BACKGROUND: Maternal diet during pregnancy might influence the development of childhood allergic disorders.

AIMS:   This prospective study examined the relationship between maternal dietary patterns during pregnancy and the risk of wheeze and eczema in the offspring aged 16-24 months.

MATERIALS & METHODS: Subjects were 763 mother-child pairs. Data on maternal intake during pregnancy were assessed with a diet history questionnaire. Dietary patterns were derived from factor analysis of 33 predefined food groups. Symptoms of wheeze and eczema were based on criteria of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood. Adjustment was made for maternal age, gestation, residential municipality, family income, maternal and paternal education, maternal and paternal history of allergic disorders, changes in maternal diet in pregnancy, season at baseline, maternal smoking during pregnancy, baby's older siblings, sex, birth weight, age at the third survey, household smoking, and breastfeeding duration.

RESULTS: Three dietary patterns were identified: 'healthy', characterized by high intake of green and yellow vegetables, seaweed, mushrooms, white vegetables, pulses, potatoes, fish, sea products, fruit, and shellfish; 'Western', characterized by high intake of vegetable oil, salt-containing seasonings, beef and pork, processed meat, eggs, chicken, and white vegetables; and 'Japanese', characterized by high intake of rice, miso soup, sea products, and fish. There was a tendency for an inverse exposure-response relationship between the maternal Western pattern during pregnancy and the risk of childhood wheeze by crude analysis. After adjustment for the confounding factors under study, the inverse relationship was strengthened: the adjusted OR between extreme quartiles was 0.59 (95% CI: 0.35-0.98, p for trend = 0.02). No such inverse association was observed for childhood eczema. Neither the maternal healthy pattern nor the Japanese pattern during pregnancy was related to childhood wheeze or eczema.

CONCLUSION: The maternal Western pattern during pregnancy may be preventive against wheeze in the offspring.

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