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Background: Inflammation may be a hidden process in the relationship between dietary intake and depression, but no study has evaluated the role of diet and inflammation jointly in explaining depression risk in early life. The current study aims to investigate the relationship between inflammatory dietary pattern (IDP) in childhood and depression in early adulthood.
Methods: This study used data prospectively collected over 10 years from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) cohort (n=6939) free from depression at baseline (age 8.5 years). An IDP score was empirically derived via reduced rank regression and stepwise linear regression based on dietary intake data from the food frequency questionnaire at 8.5 years and levels of inflammatory biomarkers, C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, at 9.5 years. At age 18 years, depression cases were identified via the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10) diagnosis and the Clinical Interview Schedule-Revised (CIS-R) depression score. Logistic regression models were constructed to examine the relationship between the IDP score and risk of depression adjusted for potential confounders. Analyses stratified by weight status were also conducted. Multiple imputations were utilized to minimize bias due to loss-to-follow-up.
Results: Participants in the highest tertile of IDP score had 1.34 times odds to develop depression compared to those in the lowest tertile (95% CI, 1.08-1.66; P-trend<0.01), after dietary misreporting status and energy intake were adjusted. After all covariates were adjusted, the relationship between IDP tertiles and depression was attenuated (highest tertile vs. lowest tertile: OR=1.21; 95% CI, 0.96-1.51); in addition, the relationship was marginally significant among participants who were not overweight or obese (p<0.10) but not significant among participants who were overweight or obese.
Conclusions: Higher IDP in childhood seems to be associated with higher depression risk in early adulthood. The study provides preliminary evidence that chronic inflammation may underlie the relationship between diet and depression even for children, especially those who are not overweight or obese.
Xiao Cong,Melissa Tracy,Lynn S Edmunds,Akiko S Hosler,Allison A Appleton