gms | German Medical Science

50. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie (gmds)
12. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Epidemiologie (dae)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie
Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Epidemiologie

12. bis 15.09.2005, Freiburg im Breisgau

Margarine and butter consumption, eczema and allergic sensitization in children

Meeting Abstract

  • Stefanie Sausenthaler - GSF-Forschungszentrum für Umwelt und Gesundheit, Neuherberg
  • Iris Kompauer - GSF-Forschungszentrum für Umwelt und Gesundheit, Neuherberg
  • Michael Borte - Universität Leipzig, Klinik für Kinder und Jugendmedizin Städtisches Klinikum "St. Georg" Leipzig
  • Olf Herbarth - Umweltforschungszentrum Leipzig
  • B. Schaaf - Marien-Krankenhaus Wesel, Abt. für Pädiatrie, Wesel
  • A. von Berg - Marien-Krankenhaus Wesel, Abt. für Pädiatrie, Wesel
  • A. Zutavern - GSF-Forschungszentrum für Umwelt und Gesundheit, Neuherberg
  • J. Heinrich - GSF-Forschungszentrum für Umwelt und Gesundheit, Neuherberg

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie. Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Epidemiologie. 50. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie (gmds), 12. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Epidemiologie. Freiburg im Breisgau, 12.-15.09.2005. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2005. Doc05gmds071

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Veröffentlicht: 8. September 2005

© 2005 Sausenthaler et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/deed.de). Er darf vervielf&aauml;ltigt, verbreitet und &oauml;ffentlich zug&aauml;nglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.


Gliederung

Text

Introduction

A diet rich in n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids has been proposed to influence the development of allergic sensitization by formation of arachidonic acid-derived prostaglandin E2. This in turn, promotes the production of IgE, which is associated with an increased risk for atopic diseases [1].

Since n-6 PUFA are particularly contained in vegetable oils and margarine, several studies on dietary risk factors for allergic diseases used margarine consumption substitutional for n-6 PUFA intake, while butter adequately acted as surrogate marker for saturated fatty acids. Most of these studies have focused on children older than 3 years, although there is evidence that the immunocompetence mainly develops during very early childhood [2]. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess, if predominant margarine or butter intake were associated with eczema and allergic sensitization in children at 2 years of age.

Materials and Methods

Data of 2582 children at the age of 2 years with complete information on exposure to diet and allergic outcome were analyzed in a German prospective birth cohort study (LISA) [3]. Margarine and butter intake were estimated from a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire about general fat use at home combined with questions on the child’s spread intake. Four different definitions of eczema were included in the analysis: Lifetime prevalence and incidence in the second year of life of symptomatic and doctor-diagnosed eczema, respectively. Allergic sensitization was assessed by measuring specific IgE to common food allergens (egg, cow’s milk, wheat, peanut, soybean, codfish) and to inhalant allergens (house dust mite, cockroach, cat, mixed grass, birch pollen, mixed moulds). A child with at least one specific IgE ≥0.35 kU/l (RAST 1) was considered to be sensitized. Multiple logistic regression analysis was applied comparing predominant margarine and predominant butter intake with consumption of both butter and margarine, controlling for study area, gender, maternal age at delivery, maternal smoking during second or third trimester of pregnancy, level of parental education, exclusive breast-feeding for at least 4 months and parental history of atopic diseases.

Results

Compared to the consumption of both margarine and butter, predominant margarine intake was positively associated with lifetime prevalence of doctor-diagnosed eczema (OR: 1.83; 95% CI: 1.23-2.72) and allergic sensitization against inhalant allergens (OR: 2.17; 95% CI: 1.11-4.25) at age 2 years (table 1 [Tab. 1]). Butter intake was positively associated with symptomatic eczema in the second year of life (OR: 1.46; 95% CI: 1.03-2.06).

Stratification by family history of atopic diseases showed that the increased effect estimates in the group of predominant margarine consumption were mainly attributed to children with atopic parents. Sex-stratified regression analysis indicated that significant associations existed in boys, but not in girls.

In the home of children with predominant margarine intake, consumption frequencies of olive oil, fresh fruits and raw vegetables were significantly decreased. Furthermore, subjects on low-allergen diet (avoidance of food allergens) in general and those who avoided dairy products in particular most likely consumed predominantly margarine.

Discussion

This study suggests a positive association between margarine intake and eczema and allergic sensitization in children at the age of 2 years. These results are consistent with most of the other observational studies in children. We found no consistent association between butter intake and eczema or allergic sensitization. An exception seemed to be incidence of symptomatic eczema in the second year of life, which showed a weak, positive association to butter consumption.

There are several possible explanations for the mechanism behind, but we could not disentangle the multitude of interacting factors. Therefore, it remains uncertain whether the associations are due to a causal role of dietary components of margarine or a less healthy lifestyle characterized by margarine consumption, which in turn enhances the susceptibility for allergic diseases or depend on reverse causation.


References

1.
Calder PC, Miles EA. Fatty acids and atopic disease. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2000;11 Suppl 13:29-36
2.
Prescott SL, Macaubas C, Smallacombe T, Holt BJ, Sly PD, Holt PG. Development of allergen-specific T-cell memory in atopic and normal children. Lancet 1999;353:196-200
3.
Heinrich J, Bolte G, Holscher B, et al. LISA study group. Allergens and endotoxin on mothers' mattresses and total immunoglobulin E in cord blood of neonates. Eur Respir J 2002;20:617-23