Public Health Nutrition

Research Paper

Plasma micronutrients are associated with dietary intake and environmental tobacco smoke exposure in a paediatric population

Heather Bradya1, Molly M Lamba1, Ronald J Sokola2, Colleen A Rossa1, Jennifer A Seiferta1, Marian J Rewersa3 and Jill M Norrisa1 c1

a1 Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, University of Colorado Denver and Health Sciences Center (UCDHSC), 4200 East 9th Avenue, Box B-119, Denver, CO 80262, USA

a2 Section of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, The Children's Hospital, and University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO, USA

a3 Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, and UCDHSC, Denver, CO, USA


Background While adult populations have been well described in terms of nutritional status, such as the concentration of nutrient biomarkers, little work has been done in healthy paediatric populations.

Objective The primary objective of this analysis was to explore the determinants of plasma micronutrients in a group of healthy infants and children.

Design The Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young (DAISY) has enrolled 1433 newborns at increased risk for type 1 diabetes in Denver, Colorado. A representative random sample of 257 children from the DAISY cohort between the ages of 9 months and 8 years with a total of 815 clinic visits over time was used in this analysis. Annual dietary intake was assessed over time with Willett food-frequency questionnaires that were validated in this population. Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) was assessed using a validated survey. Plasma samples were tested for vitamins, carotenoids and total lipids. Predictors of plasma micronutrients were evaluated using mixed models for longitudinal data, while adjusting for age, human leukocyte antigen genotype, type 1 diabetes family history and other potential confounders and covariates.

Results Increased micronutrient intake was associated with increased levels of their respective plasma nutrient, with the exception of γ-tocopherol. Independent of dietary intake, levels of α- and β-carotene and β-cryptoxanthin were significantly lower, and γ-tocopherol was significantly higher, in children who were exposed to ETS.

Conclusion Dietary intake predicts plasma micronutrient levels. Exposure to ETS potentially could have negative health effects in this young population.

(Received March 02 2006)

(Accepted November 27 2006)

(Online publication February 20 2007)


c1 *Corresponding author: Email