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Fruit and vegetable intakes and asthma in the E3N study
  1. I Romieu1,
  2. R Varraso2,3,
  3. V Avenel4,
  4. B Leynaert5,
  5. F Kauffmann2,
  6. F Clavel-Chapelon4
  1. 1Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, México
  2. 2INSERM, U780, Villejuif, France
  3. 3Université Paris 11, Kremlin-Bicêtre, France
  4. 4INSERM, Equipe Nutrition, Hormones et Cancer, Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France
  5. 5INSERM, U700, Paris, and Université Paris Diderot, Faculté de Médecine Xavier Bichat, Paris, France
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr I Romieu
    Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica, Av. Universidad # 655, Col Santa Maria Ahuacatitlan, 62508 Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico; iromieu{at}


Background: A study was undertaken to investigate whether dietary intake predicted the prevalence of adult asthma among French women participating in the E3N study.

Methods: Of 68 535 women who completed a food frequency questionnaire in 1993 which included 238 food items, 2145 (3.1%) reported having asthma. The distribution of food intake was divided into quartiles (Q1–Q4) and the prevalence of asthma was compared between the different quartiles (lowest as reference) using logistic regression models on cross sectional data.

Results: After adjusting for age, body mass index, menopausal status, smoking status, total caloric intake, physical activity, and use of dietary supplements, women who had a greater intake of tomatoes (ORQ1–Q4 0.85 95% CI 0.75 to 0.96, test for trend p = 0.02), carrots (ORQ1–Q4 0.81 95% CI 0.72 to 0.92, test for trend p = 0.0003), and leafy vegetables (ORQ1–Q4 0.82 95% CI 0.73 to 0.93, test for trend p = 0.0009) had a lower prevalence of asthma. Apples were marginally related to the prevalence of asthma. No other fruits or vegetables were significantly associated with asthma prevalence.

Conclusions: These results suggest that the intake of some vegetables may decrease the prevalence of adult asthma.

  • asthma
  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • diet
  • women

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  • Published Online First 5 January 2006

  • Competing interests: none declared.