Objective: Many studies have explored the effects of individual foods or nutrients on fluorosis, but no studies have focused on dietary patterns. This study examined the relationship between dietary patterns and coal-burning fluorosis in Guizhou, China.
Methods: This 1:1 matched case-control study was conducted in Zhijin County of Guizhou province with a sample size of 200 cases of fluorosis and 200 age and gender matched controls. Habitual dietary intake was assessed by face-to-face interviews, using a validated 75-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and various covariates using structured questionnaires. The dietary patterns were identified by factor analysis.
Results: The factor analysis identified three major dietary patterns which were labeled healthy, easy-to-roast and high protein. After adjusting for various confounding factors, a decreased risk for fluorosis was observed in the highest tertile of the healthy dietary pattern relative to the lowest tertile (OR = 0.47, 95% CI = 0.27-0.84, P-trend = 0.003) and a positive association was observed between the easy-to-roast dietary pattern and fluorosis risk (OR = 2.05, 95% CI = 1.15-3.66), with a significant linear trend (P = 0.017). We did not find an association between fluorosis risk and the high protein dietary pattern. The relationships remained significant when the analyses were stratified by gender and fluorosis subtypes.
Conclusion: The healthy dietary pattern may lower coal-burning fluorosis risk; in contrast, the easy-to-roast dietary pattern significantly increases the risk of coal-burning fluorosis.