Primary Outcome Measures:
- incident asthma [ Time Frame: childhood ]
Asthma prevalence has steadily increased in the United States since the early 1980s, but the exact cause of this increase remains unknown. It is estimated that at least 8% of Americans have asthma. Although anti-inflammatory medications have proven effective for decreasing asthma exacerbations, there are few treatment options available to prevent the initial onset of the disease. Dietary factors and BMI may play a role in the development of asthma. Specifically, individuals who eat foods containing antioxidants (e.g., vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotenoids), n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (e.g., fish oils), and vitamin D may have a decreased risk of developing asthma, while individuals with higher BMI ratios may have an increased asthma risk. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationship among dietary factors, BMI, and the incidence of asthma among children.
This study will enroll children participating in the Growing Up Today study and children of nurses who are participating in the Nurses Health Study II. Researchers will analyze participants' previously completed questionnaires on dietary intake, physical activity, height, weight, and the presence of physician-diagnosed asthma. All participants with physician-diagnosed asthma will receive an additional asthma questionnaire. A small portion of these participants will also have their medical records reviewed by study researchers, and mothers of these children will be asked to complete a questionnaire. Additionally, a questionnaire will be sent to and completed by children who do not have asthma and their mothers.