AIM: To assess whether Mediterranean diet is associated with asthma and allergic sensitization, and to explore possible associations between individual food groups and asthma and allergic sensitization. METHODS: The study is a part of the 16-year follow up of the Environment and Childhood Asthma (ECA) study in Oslo including 550 subjects. Pediatrician-guided structured interview was performed towards both parents and subjects, respectively. The interview consisted of translated ISAAC-questions on airway symptoms, in addition to dietary assessment and questions concerning environmental exposure and other lifestyle factors. All the subjects underwent skin prick tests with 19 common allergens. Adherence to Mediterranean diet was measured using a Mediterranean diet score.
RESULTS: The Mediterranean diet score showed a trend toward an inverse association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and current asthma (OR 0.88 95 % CI 0.77-1.02), although it was not statistically significant. In the multivariate analyses the point estimates remained generally unchanged (OR 0.85 95 % CI 0.63-1.15). No significant associations were found between Mediterranean diet score and allergic sensitization. Intake of fruits and nuts were significantly associated with current asthma (OR 0.99, 95 % CI 0.99-1.00). However, this effect did not remain in the multivariate analyses.
CONCLUSION: The findings of the present study do not support a protective effect of the Mediterranean diet on the prevalence of asthma and allergic sensitization.