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29-07-2010 | Respiratory | Article

Diet pattern in pregnancy not linked to recurrent wheeze in children


Free abstract

MedWire News: A woman's dietary pattern during pregnancy does not influence her child's risk for suffering recurrent wheeze in early life, US study results suggest.

Writing in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Nancy Lange (Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts) and team explain that "previous studies have found associations between individual foods or nutrients consumed during pregnancy and asthma or wheeze in children, but these may be confounded by overall dietary pattern."

The team studied 1376 mother-infant pairs from eastern Massachusetts who participated in Project Viva - a longitudinal cohort study of risk factors during pregnancy and disease outcomes in offspring.

All the mothers completed food frequency questionnaires in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy, and data were collected on the prevalence of recurrent wheeze in the children at the age of 3 years.

Dietary pattern during pregnancy was assessed using the Mediterranean diet score, the Alternate Healthy Eating Index modified for pregnancy (AHEI-P), and principal components analysis of prudent (mainly consisting of fruits, tomatoes, cabbages, green leafy vegetables, poultry, and fish) and western-style (mainly consisting of red meat, processed meat, refined grains, snacks, sweets, desserts, French fries, and pizza) diets.

In total, 175 (17.9%) children suffered from recurrent wheeze by the age of 3 years.

Analysis revealed that none the pregnancy dietary patterns were associated with risk for recurrent wheeze in children, after accounting for parental history of asthma and allergies, breast feeding duration, pre-pregnancy body mass index, maternal race/ethnicity, infant exposure to tobacco smoke, and other covariables.

Indeed, the adjusted odds ratios for recurrent wheeze associated with each one-point increase in scores on the Mediterranean diet, the AHEI-P, and the prudent, and western diets were 0.98, 1.07, 1.02, and 0.98, respectively.

Lange and team conclude: "Maternal dietary pattern during pregnancy was not associated with recurrent wheezing in the mothers' children at 3 years."

They add: "Future analyses and intervention studies should focus on individual foods or nutrients."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Mark Cowen

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