Racial differences in dietary choices and their relationship to inflammatory potential in childbearing age women at risk for exposure to COVID-19

Academic Article


  • Since the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is linked to chronic inflammation, people with initial lower inflammatory status could have better outcomes from exposure to this disease. Because dietary habits are one of the most important modifiable risk factors for inflammation, identification of dietary components associated with inflammation could play a significant role in controlling or reducing the risk of COVID-19. We investigated the inflammatory potential of diets consumed by African American (AA) and Caucasian American (CA) women of childbearing age (n = 509) who are at high risk for exposure to COVID-19 by being residents of Birmingham, Alabama, a city severely affected by this pandemic. The overall pro- and anti- inflammatory scores were calculated using dietary intake data gathered using Block food frequency questionnaire. The proinflammatory potential of diets consumed by AAs was significantly higher compared to CAs. Several anti- and proinflammatory nutrients and food groups consumed differed by race. With consumption of a greater number of antioxidants and B-vitamins, CAs switched toward an anti-inflammatory score more effectively than AAs while AAs performed better than CAs in improving the anti-inflammatory score with the consumption of a greater number of minerals and vitamin D. Effective race-specific dietary modifications or supplementation with nutrients identified will be useful to improve proinflammatory diets toward anti-inflammatory. This approach could aid in controlling the current COVID-19 pandemic and future pandemics of a similar nature in women at risk for exposure.
  • Published In

  • Nutrition Research  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 2378929
  • Author List

  • Piyathilake CJ; Badiga S; Chappell AR; Johanning GL; Jolly PE
  • Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 12
  • Volume

  • 90