To examine the effect of maternal diet during pregnancy on allergic sensitization in the offspring by 5 yrs of age. The Finnish type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention Nutrition Study. A population-based cohort study with 5-yr follow-up. A total of 931 children with human leukocyte antigen-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes for whom maternal pregnancy food frequency questionnaire data and allergen-specific immunoglobulin E measurement at 5 yrs were available. Increasing maternal consumption of citrus fruits [odds ratio (OR) = 1.14, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.05-1.25] and total fruit (OR = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.09-1.70) were positively associated with sensitization to inhalant allergens, after adjustment for potential confounders. Maternal intake of vitamin D (OR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.35-0.91) was inversely associated with sensitization to food allergens. Maternal consumption of citrus fruits during pregnancy may increase the risk to allergic sensitization in the offspring, whereas vitamin D intake may have a beneficial effect. Further studies are required to define more closely the putative effect of maternal intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids on development of allergic diseases in the offspring.
An increase in the prevalence of allergic conditions has been documented in Finland, correlating with the diminishing prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infections. We investigated whether the increase of allergic sensitisation still continues and correlates with the prevalence of H. pylori infections.
The sera from 958 pregnant women in 1983, 1989, 1995 and 2001 were analysed for the presence of antibodies against H. pylori. In addition, allergen-specific IgE antibodies and total levels of IgE antibodies were measured.
A clear birth cohort effect was found in the prevalence of allergic sensitization: allergen-specific IgE was more frequent among recent birth cohorts than earlier ones (p = 0.001). The frequency of H. pylori antibodies followed the opposite trend (p