Dietary intake of vitamin A, lung function, and incident asthma in childhood

Mohammad Talaei*, David A Hughes, Osama Mahmoud, Pauline M Emmett, Raquel Granell, Stefano Guerra, Seif O Shaheen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Longitudinal epidemiological data are scarce on the relation between dietary intake of vitamin A and respiratory outcomes in childhood. We investigated whether a higher intake of preformed vitamin A or provitamin β-carotene in mid-childhood is associated with higher lung function and with asthma risk in adolescence.In the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, dietary intakes of preformed vitamin A and β-carotene equivalents were estimated by food frequency questionnaire at 7 years of age. Post- bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), and forced expiratory flow at 25-75% of FVC (FEF25-75) were measured at 15.5 years and transformed to z scores. Incident asthma was defined by new cases of doctor-diagnosed asthma at age 11 or 14 years.In multivariable adjusted models, a higher intake of preformed vitamin A was associated with higher lung function and a lower risk of incident asthma: comparing top versus bottom quartiles of intake, regression coefficients (95% confidence intervals) for FEV1 and FEF25-75 were, respectively, 0.21 (0.05-0.38; P-trend 0.008) and 0.18 (0.03-0.32; P-trend 0.02); odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for FEV1/FVC ratio below the lower limit of normal and incident asthma were, respectively, 0.49 (0.27-0.90, P-trend 0.04) and 0.68 (0.47, 0.99; P-trend 0.07). In contrast, there was no evidence for association with β-carotene. We also found some evidence for modification of the associations between preformed vitamin A intake and lung function by BCMO1, NCOR2 and CC16 gene polymorphisms.A higher intake of preformed vitamin A, but not β-carotene, in mid-childhood is associated with higher subsequent lung function and lower risk of fixed airflow limitation and incident asthma.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe European respiratory journal
Issue number4
Early online date24 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are extremely grateful to all the families who took part in this study, the midwives for their help in recruiting them, and the whole Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children team, which includes interviewers, computer and laboratory technicians, clerical workers, research scientists, volunteers, managers, receptionists, and nurses. We would also like to thank Annabelle B?dard for her assistance at the beginning of this project and Hossein Tabatabaeian for his consultation on the genetic aspects of this study. SOS had full access to all the data in the study and had final responsibility for the decision to submit for publication. This paper is dedicated to the memory of our late colleague Professor John Henderson who led the programme of respiratory follow-up in ALSPAC and without whom this study would not have been possible. This project and Mohammad Talaei were funded by the Rosetrees Trust and The Bloom Foundation (Grant ref: M771). David A Hughes is supported by a Wellcome Investigator Award (no. 202802/Z/16/Z). The UK Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust (Grant ref: 217065/Z/19/Z) and the University of Bristol provide core support for ALSPAC. This publication is the work of the authors and Raquel Granell and Pauline Emmett will serve as guarantors for the contents of this paper. GWAS data were generated by Sample Logistics and Genotyping Facilities at Wellcome Sanger Institute and LabCorp (Laboratory Corporation of America) using support from 23andMe. A comprehensive list of grant funding is available on the ALSPAC website (

Funding Information:
intake of preformed vitamin A. This was supported by the interactions with polymorphisms in the

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright ©The authors 2021.


  • Vitamin A
  • β-carotene
  • lung function
  • asthma
  • childhood
  • diet


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