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To describe the nutrient intakes of an Italian cohort of infants at 6, 9 and 12 months of age.
Dietary data were collected using a food diary at three follow-ups (6, 9 and 12 months of age of infants). The infants’ dietary data were used to estimate nutrient intakes using the Italian food composition database integrated with data from nutritional labels and the literature. The mean and standard deviation, median and interquartile range, minimum and maximum, and 5th, 25th, 75th and 95th percentiles were calculated for the daily intake of twenty-eight nutrients, with sex differences evaluated using parametric/non-parametric statistical methods.
A prospective population-based birth cohort.
Infants (n 400) living in the urban area of Trieste (Italy).
The sex distribution was fairly balanced at each follow-up. The mean daily intakes of energy and the other twenty-seven nutrients considered were greater in males at all follow-ups. In particular, a significant statistical difference was observed in higher male consumption of cholesterol at 9 months and in energy and carbohydrate intakes at 12 months (P < 0·05). The mean daily intake of proteins was greater than that recommended by the Italian Dietary Reference Values at all follow-ups.
These preliminary results provide a useful basis for understanding the nutrient intake patterns of infants in this area of Italy during the first year of life.
To analyse the association between macronutrient intake and body mass index (BMI).
A series of hospital-based case–control studies.
Selected teaching and general hospitals in several Italian regions.
A total of 6619 subjects from the comparison groups of the case–control studies were included in the analysis.
We obtained data from a validated 78-item food-frequency questionnaire submitted between 1991 and 2002. For various macronutrients, the partial regression coefficient (variation of BMI (kg m− 2) per 100 kcal increment of energy intake) was derived from multiple linear regression models, after allowance for age, study centre, education, smoking habits, number of eating episodes and mutual adjustment for macronutrients.
BMI was directly associated with protein intake among women only (β = 0.68) and with unsaturated fats in both genders (for monounsaturated fats β = 0.27 for men and 0.26 for women; for polyunsaturated fats β = 0.27 for men and 0.54 for women), and inversely related to carbohydrates (β = − 0.05 for men and − 0.21 for women) and number of eating episodes in both genders (β = − 0.42 for men and − 0.61 for women) and to saturated fats among women only (β = − 0.57).
These results confirm and provide convincing evidence that, after allowance for selected covariates including total energy intake, a protein-rich diet is not inversely related to BMI, and a carbohydrate-rich diet is not directly related to BMI.
The relation between several measures of body iron and atherosclerotic disease, particularly acute myocardial infarction (AMI), is debated. This is of specific interest since iron is frequently included in supplementation and fortification of foods. We assessed the relation between dietary iron intake and the risk of non-fatal AMI.
Case–control study. The information was collected by interviewers using a food-frequency questionnaire tested for validity and reproducibility. Adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were obtained by multiple unconditional logistic regression models, including terms for energy and alcohol intakea, as well as for sociodemographic factors, tobacco and other major recognised risk factors for AMI.
Milan, Italy, between 1995 and 1999.
Cases were 507 patients, below age 79 years, with a first episode of non-fatal AMI, and controls were 478 patients admitted to hospital for a wide spectrum of acute conditions unrelated to known or potential AMI risk factors.
Compared with patients in the lowest tertile of total iron intake, the OR was 0.48 (95% CI 0.29–0.82) for those in the highest tertile. The corresponding value for haem iron was 0.71 (95% CI 0.48–1.06), for non-haem, non-alcohol iron was 0.80 (95% CI 0.51–1.24) and for iron derived from alcoholic beverages was 0.60 (95% CI 0.40–0.90). Sex-specific OR for total iron intake were not heterogeneous.
In this Italian population dietary iron intake was inversely related to AMI risk. This inverse association may depend on other nutrients present in the major sources of iron in the Italian diet.
As intake of flavonoids has been associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease but data on the relation with specific classes of flavonoids are scarce, we assessed the relation between dietary intake of specific classes of flavonoids and the risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in an Italian population.
Case–control study. Dietary information was collected by interviewers on a questionnaire tested for validity and reproducibility. Adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were obtained by multiple logistic regression models including terms for energy and alcohol intake, as well as sociodemographic factors, tobacco and other major recognised risk factors for AMI.
Milan, Italy, between 1995 and 2003.
Cases were 760 patients, below age 79 years, with a first episode of non-fatal AMI, and controls were 682 patients admitted to hospital for acute conditions unrelated to diet.
A reduced risk of AMI was found for increasing intake of anthocyanidins (OR = 0.45, 95% CI 0.26–0.78 for the highest vs. the lowest quintile, Ptrend = 0.003) and flavonols (OR = 0.65, 95% CI 0.41–1.02, Ptrend = 0.02). A tendency towards reduced risks, although not significant, was observed for flavan-3-ols (OR = 0.73, 95% CI 0.48–1.10) and total flavonoids (OR = 0.74, 95% CI 0.49–1.14). No meaningful heterogeneity was found between the sexes. No association emerged for other flavonoids, including isoflavones, flavanones and flavones.
High intake of anthocyanidins reduced the risk of AMI even after allowance for alcohol, fruit and vegetables, supporting a real inverse association between this class of flavonoids and AMI risk.
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