Relationship between dietary antioxidants and childhood asthma: more epidemiological studies are needed
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2003.10.001
Approximately 15 million Americans including over 5 million children suffer from asthma, the most common chronic disease in childhood. The prevalence of pediatric asthma has risen sharply over the past four decades, with the sharpest increases occurring in children younger than 6 years and in urban, predominantly minority, populations. The reasons for this dramatic increase are not yet clear. Recent epidemiological studies indicate a higher prevalence of dietary antioxidant deficiency among asthmatics patients. However, the results of these studies are inconsistent or even contradictory. Epidemiological studies with robust design and use of novel epidemiological tools are urgently needed to examine the impact of dietary antioxidants on the incidence of asthma in preschool children. An incidence density case-control study which includes non-atopic controls, who are matched for age, gender, race, study center and sampling time to each asthmatic case will offer a robust study design. A validated food frequency questionnaire and an asthma and atopy severity score can be used to interview the parents of the recruited children. Risk set sampling may enable us to explore possible associations between the type and quantity of dietary antioxidants and the development and severity of asthma in such an epidemiological study.