British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

Dietary Surveys and Nutritional Epidemiology

Mediterranean diet adherence during pregnancy and risk of wheeze and eczema in the first year of life: INMA (Spain) and RHEA (Greece) mother–child cohort studies

Leda Chatzia1 c1, Raquel Garciaa2a3, Theano Roumeliotakia1, Mikel Basterrecheaa3a4a5, Haizea Begiristaina5, Carmen Iñigueza3a6a7, Jesus Vioquea3a8, Manolis Kogevinasa2a3a9a10, Jordi Sunyera2a3a10a11 and on behalf of the INMA and RHEA study groups

a1 Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete, PO Box 2208, Heraklion, 71003 Crete, Greece

a2 Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain

a3 CIBER Epidemiologia y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain

a4 Public Health Division of Gipuzkoa, Basque Government, San Sebastian, Spain

a5 Instituto Investigation BioDonostia, Basque Government, San Sebastian, Spain

a6 Public Health Research Institute, Valencia, Spain

a7 Universitat de Valenica, Valencia, Spain

a8 Departamento de Salud Publica, Universidad Miguel Hernandez, Alicante, Spain

a9 National School of Public Health, Athens, Greece

a10 Municipal Institute of Medical Research, Barcelona, Spain

a11 Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain

Abstract

Maternal diet during pregnancy might influence the development of childhood allergic disorders. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of Mediterranean diet (MD) adherence during pregnancy on wheeze and eczema in the first year of life in two population-based mother–child cohorts in Spain and Greece. We studied 1771 mother–newborn pairs from the Spanish multi-centre ‘INMA’ (INfancia y Medio Ambiente) study (Gipuzkoa, Sabadell and Valencia) and 745 pairs from the ‘RHEA’ study in Crete, Greece. The symptoms of wheeze and eczema were based on the criteria of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood. Maternal diet during pregnancy was assessed by FFQ and MD adherence was evaluated through an a priori score. Multivariate log-binomial regression models were used to adjust for several confounders in each cohort and summary estimates were obtained by a meta-analysis. MD adherence was not associated with the risk of wheeze and eczema in any cohort, and similar results were identified in the meta-analysis approach. High meat intake (relative risk (RR) 1·22, 95 % CI 1·00, 1·49) and ‘processed’ meat intake (RR 1·18, 95 % CI 1·02, 1·37) during pregnancy were associated with an increased risk of wheeze in the first year of life, while a high intake of dairy products was significantly associated with a decreased risk of infantile wheeze (RR 0·83, 95 % CI 0·72, 0·96). The results of the present study show that high meat intake during pregnancy may increase the risk of wheeze in the first year of life, while a high intake of dairy products may decrease it.

(Received September 07 2012)

(Revised March 19 2013)

(Accepted March 26 2013)

(Online publication May 17 2013)

Key Words:

  • Mediterranean diet;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Wheeze;
  • Eczema;
  • Infants

Correspondence

c1 Corresponding author: Dr L. Chatzi, fax +30 2810 394606, email lchatzi@med.uoc.gr

Footnotes

  Abbreviations: EU, European Union; INMA, INfancia y Medio Ambiente; ISAAC, International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood; MD, Mediterranean diet; RR, Relative risk

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