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Background: Several studies have indicated that chronic low-grade inflammation is associated with the development of schizophrenia. Given the role of diet in modulating inflammatory markers, excessive caloric intake and increased consumption of pro-inflammatory components such as calorie-dense, nutrient-sparse foods may contribute toward increased rates of schizophrenia. This study aimed to examine the association between dietary inflammation, as measured by the dietary inflammatory index (DII (R)), and schizophrenia. Methods: A total of 120 cases attending the out-patient department in the Psychiatric Hospital/Bahrain were recruited, along with 120 healthy controls matched on age and sex. The energy-adjusted DII (E-DII) was computed based on dietary intake assessed using a comprehensive food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals, adjusting for potential confounders including age, sex, body mass index, education, employment, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease with E-DII expressed both as a continuous variable and categorized as quartiles. Results: The mean E-DII score for the entire sample was 1.79 +/- 1.52, indicating a generally pro-inflammatory diet. The cases with schizophrenia appeared to have a higher E-DII score compared to controls: 1.99 +/- 1.39 vs. 1.60 +/- 1.38, respectively (p = 0.009). For every one unit increase in the E-DII score, the odds of having schizophrenia increased by 62% (OR 1.62; 95% CI 1.17-2.26). Similarly, increased risk was observed when the E-DII was used as quartiles, with participants in most pro-inflammatory quartile 4 being nearly 6 times more likely to be schizophrenic than participants in the most anti-inflammatory group quartile 1 (OR 5.96; 1.74-20.38; p-trend = 0.01). Conclusions: The data suggest that a pro-inflammatory diet, as indicated by increasing E-DII score, is associated with schizophrenia. This is the first study to examine the association between the DII and schizophrenia in a Middle Eastern population. Although these results are consistent with findings from research conducted in depression, additional studies are required before generalizing the findings to other populations.

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APA Citation

Jahrami, H., Faris, M. A.-I., Ghazzawi, H. A., Saif, Z., Habib, L., Shivappa, N., & Hébert, J. R. (2019). Increased Dietary Inflammatory Index Is Associated with Schizophrenia: Results of a Case-Control Study from Bahrain. Nutrients, 11(8), 1867.

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