Association of proinflammatory diet with low-grade inflammation: results from the Moli-sani study

UOC Servizio Igiene e Sanità Pubblica—Dipartimento di Prevenzione; Offices of vital statistics of the Molise region and Molise Dati Spa, Moli-sani Study Investigators, Azienda Sanitaria Regionale del Molise, Azienda Sanitaria Regionale del Molise, Presidi Ospedalieri ASReM (Presidio Ospedaliero A. Cardarelli—Campobasso; Ospedale F. Veneziale—Isernia; Ospedale San Timoteo—Termoli (CB); Ospedale Ss. Rosario—Venafro (IS); Ospedale Vietri—Larino (CB); Ospedale San Francesco Caracciolo—Agnone (IS)); Istituto di cura Villa Maria—Campobasso; Fondazione di Ricerca e Cura Giovanni Paolo II—Campobasso; IRCCS Neuromed—Pozzilli (IS)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The association between diet and inflammation is well documented. Yet, no evidence exists on the relationship between the inflammatory potential of the diet and low-grade inflammation (LGI) as measured by a composite score of plasma and cellular biomarkers. The aim of this study was to assess the association between the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII®) and LGI in a large population-based cohort. Methods: Cross-sectional analyses were conducted on data from 20 823 adults (age ≥35 y; 48% male) without acute inflammation, who were recruited within the general population of the Moli-sani study from 2005 to 2010. LGI was measured by using a composite score (INFLA-score) including platelet and leukocyte counts, the granulocyte to lymphocyte ratio, and C-reactive protein. DII scores were computed based on dietary intake assessed by the EPIC food frequency questionnaire. Multivariable linear regression models were fit to produce adjusted regression coefficients and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: Higher DII scores were associated with increased LGI (β = 0.131; 95% CI, 0.089–0.174 for the highest versus lowest quintile of DII) after adjusting for age, sex, lifestyle, prevalence of chronic diseases, and health conditions. A higher DII score also was positively associated with each single biomarker of inflammation included in the INFLA-score, unhealthy behaviors (smoking, sedentary lifestyle), and insulin. Conclusions: Higher DII scores, indicating greater inflammatory potential of the diet, were directly associated with LGI, as measured by a composite score of plasma and cellular biomarkers of inflammation. These findings are consistent with the contributing role of diet-mediated inflammation in increasing risk for inflammation-related chronic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-188
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2018


  • Cross-sectional
  • Diet
  • Dietary inflammatory index
  • Italy
  • Low-grade inflammation
  • Moli-sani study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Association of proinflammatory diet with low-grade inflammation: results from the Moli-sani study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this