The relationship between dairy food intake and psychological distress among Iranian adults: results from a large cross-sectional population-based study

  • Maryam Miraghajani
  • Awat FeiziEmail author
  • Ahmad Esmaillzadeh
  • Hmidreza Roohafza
  • Ammar Hassanzadeh Keshteli
  • Peyman Adibi
Original Article



Psychological distress is associated with decreased quality of life. The nutritional factor is one of the most important for mental well-being.

Subjects and methods

The aim of the present study was to determine the relationship between dairy food intake and psychological distress. In this cross-sectional study, data on the dietary food intake of 4763 participants were collected using a validated FFQ. Also, the Iranian validated version of the GHQ was used to screen psychological distress.


Individuals in the highest tertile of total dairy food intake were less likely to have psychological distress (OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.70–0.91, P = 0.04) in the final adjusted model. At stratified analysis based on sex, the same findings were obtained only among women. Inversely, individuals in the highest category of high-fat dairy intake had greater odds of suffering from psychological distress (OR 1.45, 95% CI 1.07–1.83, P = 0.01). Also, higher intake of high-fat dairy was significantly associated with greater odds of psychological distress among women in models stratified by sex. However, we found a marginally significant inverse association between higher intake of low-fat dairy and psychological distress risk (OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.69–1.01, P = 0.07). This association was not significant among men and women in a stratified analysis based on sex.


The result showed dairy intake is associated with psychological distress. Further studies are required to confirm these associations.


Dairy food intake High-fat dairy Low-fat dairy Psychological distress 



The authors thank the staff and participants of SEPAHAN for their important contributions.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study protocol was approved by the regional bioethics committee of IUMS (Adibi 2012).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maryam Miraghajani
    • 1
    • 2
  • Awat Feizi
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  • Ahmad Esmaillzadeh
    • 6
    • 7
  • Hmidreza Roohafza
    • 4
  • Ammar Hassanzadeh Keshteli
    • 5
    • 8
  • Peyman Adibi
    • 5
  1. 1.National Nutrition and Food Technology Research InstituteShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.The Early Life Research Unit, Division of Child Health, Obstetrics and GynaecologyUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  3. 3.Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of HealthIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran
  4. 4.Psychosomatic Research CenterIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran
  5. 5.Integrative Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Research CenterIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran
  6. 6.Food Security Research CenterIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran
  7. 7.Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food ScienceIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran
  8. 8.Department of MedicineUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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