relationship between dietary fatty acid

TITLE- The relationship between dietary fatty acid intake and atopic disorders

(Not sure of the exact outcomes in the data)


Asthma is a chronic disorder that is characterised by recent episodes of breathlessness and wheezing which vary in frequency from person to person. This disorder has grown in epidemic proportions in recent years. It is estimated that about 300 million people in the world currently suffer from asthma [1]. There has been an increase in the prevalence of asthma in both the developed and the developing world. However, most asthma-related deaths occur in low- and lower-middle income countries. Currently, there is no cure for asthma but proper management and avoidance of risk factors improves outcome.

The causes of asthma are not completely understood. The strongest risk factors for developing asthma are a combination of genetic predisposition with environmental exposure to inhaled substances and that may provoke allergic reactions or irritate the airways, such as:

  • indoor allergens (for example, house dust mites in bedding, carpets and stuffed furniture, pollution and pet dander)
  • outdoor allergens (such as pollens and moulds)
  • tobacco smoke
  • chemical irritants
  • air pollution.

Other triggers include cold air, extreme emotional arousal such as anger or fear, physical exercise and certain medications .Urbanization has also been associated with an increase in asthma.

Recently, the focus of epidemiology is on the role of diet in influencing the development or triggering symptoms of asthma and allergy [2-6]. Over recent years, dietary fat consumption in the UK has changed with the consumption of less animal fat and more margarines and vegetable oils. This has in turn changed dietary intakes of the wide range of individual fatty acids, such as omega-3, which are found in fish oils, nuts, and fats. There is increasing awareness of the potential health risks and benefits that may be conferred by the amount and type of individual fatty acids consumed. A decrease in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid and an increase in omega 6 fatty acids have been proposed to be linked to the increase in wheeze, asthma, and other allergic diseases [6, 7].

Many studies have investigated the role of dietary fatty acids in asthma and allergies, and intervention studies with fish oil supplementation have been conducted, but results have been mixed[8]. Most studies also focused on the role of dietary fats as a group rather than the relative importance of individual fatty acids within the n-3 and n-6 categories. This study would further assess the association between individual fatty acid intake and atopic diseases in adults.


To assess the relationship between dietary fatty acid intake and atopic disease in adults


  • To describe the overall pattern of dietary fat and individual fatty acid intake of adults in Nottingham
  • To compare the fatty acid intake of adults in Nottingham with the current Department of Health recommendations
  • To investigate the independent association between individual fatty acid intake and asthma, wheeze and other allergic outcomes


Data from a cross-sectional survey of a random sample of about 1500 adults in Nottingham, United Kingdom carried out in 2008 would be analysed. Information on individual fatty acid intake was obtained using a modified food frequency questionnaire. Outcome measures of interest include wheeze, asthma, and other allergic symptoms. Multivariate statistical methods would be used in exploring the associations with adjustment for potential confounding. The potential confounding variables considered in the multivariate analyses will include smoking status, body mass index, family history of atopic disease, socioeconomic status(not sure of the information in the dataset). All statistical analyses would be carried out using Stata software (version 10, College Station, Texas, USA). Data collection for this research was approved by


  • Stationery........................................................£5
  • Printing of journal articles.................................. £12
  • Inter-Library loans............................................£10
  • Printing of dissertation.......................................£12


1. World Health Organisation. Asthma. 2010 [cited 2010 15 Jan]; Available from:

2. Raviv, S. and L.J. Smith, Diet and asthma. Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine, 2009.

3. de Vries, A. and S.E. Howie, Diet and asthma--can you change what you or your children are by changing what you eat? Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 2009. 122(1): p. 78-82.

4. Bakolis, I., et al., Dietary patterns and adult asthma: population-based case-control study. Allergy, 2009.

5. Kim, J.H., P.E. Ellwood, and M.I. Asher, Diet and asthma: looking back, moving forward. Respiratory Research, 2009. 10: p. 49.

6. Black, P.N. and S. Sharpe, Dietary fat and asthma: is there a connection? European Respiratory Journal, 1997. 10(1): p. 6-12.

7. Fogarty, A. and J. Britton, The role of diet in the aetiology of asthma. Clinical and Experimental Allergy, 2000. 30(5): p. 615-27.

8. McKeever, T.M. and J. Britton, Diet and Asthma. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 2004. 170(7): p. 725-729.

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