BACKGROUND: Multiple factors affect growth in children with atopic dermatitis (AD). We investigated food restriction practice, nutrition, and growth in children with AD. Food restriction is defined as restriction ≥3 types of food due to AD or food allergy.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was performed in 150 children aged 12-36 months.
EXCLUSION CRITERIA: recurrent infections, moderate to severe asthma, recent systemic steroid, other diseases affecting growth/nutrition. Growth parameters, SCORing Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD), hemoglobin, hematocrit, sodium, potassium, albumin, protein, calcium, phosphate, B12, iron, and folate values were determined. Parents completed a 3-day food diary.
RESULTS: The prevalence of food restriction was 60.7%. Commonly restricted foods were shellfish 62.7%, nuts 53.3%, egg 50%, dairy 29.3%, and cow's milk 28.7%. Food-restricted children have significantly lower calorie, protein, fat, riboflavin, vitamin B12, calcium, phosphorus and iron intakes and lower serum iron, protein and albumin values. Z scores of weight-for-age (-1.38 ± 1.02 vs -0.59 ± 0.96, P = .00), height-for-age (-1.34 ± 1.36 vs -0.51 ± 1.22, P = .00), head circumference-for-age (-1.37 ± 0.90 vs -0.90 ± 0.81, P = .00), mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC)-for-age (-0.71 ± 0.90 vs -0.22 ± 0.88, P = .00), and BMI-for-age (-0.79 ± 1.15 vs -0.42 ± 0.99, P = .04) were significantly lower in food-restricted compared to non-food-restricted children. More food-restricted children were stunted, underweight with lower head circumference and MUAC. Severe disease was an independent risk factor for food restriction with OR 5.352; 95% CI, 2.26-12.68.
CONCLUSION: Food restriction is common in children with AD. It is associated with lower Z scores for weight, height, head circumference, MUAC, and BMI. Severe disease is an independent risk factor for food restriction.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.