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To investigate the association of antioxidant nutritional status with the risk of atopic dermatitis (AD) in young children in a case-control, population-based study.Identified from preschools by using the Korean version of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC). Final analysis included 180 AD (mean age 5.3±0.9 years) and 242 non-AD (mean age 5.2±1.0 years) children. Diet was assessed using a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Fasting blood samples were used for analyses of fat-soluble vitamins (retinol, α-tocopherol, and β-carotene) and vitamin C.AD was associated negatively with intakes of antioxidant-related nutrients. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were 0.44 (0.22-0.88) for the highest (vs lowest) quintile of β-carotene. A similar association was observed for dietary vitamin E (OR = 0.33, 95% CI = 0.16-0.67), folic acid (OR = 0.37, 95% CI = 0.18-0.73), and iron (OR = 0.39, 95% CI = 0.19-0.79). Reduced AD risk was found with 1 s.d. increase of serum α-tocopherol [OR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.41-0.98) and retinol (OR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.58-0.96) concentrations, and marginally with that of serum β-carotene levels (P = 0.0749 for trend). There was no relationship of AD risk with dietary and plasma vitamin C as well as nutrient supplement intake regardless of nutrient type. AD was predicted better by the intake measure than the corresponding blood biomarker regarding vitamin E and β-carotene.These findings suggest that higher antioxidant nutritional status reduces the risk of AD and that such risk-reduction effects depend on nutrient type.