In utero exposure to 25(OH) D and risk of childhood asthma, wheeze and respiratory tract infections: A meta-analysis of birth cohort studies

Haixia Feng, Pengcheng Xun, Katharine Pike, Andrew K Wills, Bo L. Chawes, Hans Bisgaard, Wei Cai, Yanping Wan, Ka He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

42 Citations (Scopus)
214 Downloads (Pure)


Background Studies of the associations between in utero 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH) D] exposure and childhood asthma risk, wheeze and respiratory tract infections are inconsistent and inconclusive. Objectives To assess the associations between 25(OH) D levels in cord blood or maternal venous blood and risk of offspring’s asthma, wheeze and respiratory tract infections. Methods Data were derived from PubMed, EMBASE, Google Scholar, references from relevant articles, and de novo results from published studies until December, 2015. Random-effects meta-analysis was conducted among 16 birth cohort studies. Results Comparing the highest to the lowest category of 25 (OH) D levels, the pooled ORs were 0.84 (95% CI, 0.70 to 1.01; P = 0.064) for asthma, 0.77 (0.58 to 1.03; P = 0.083) for wheeze, and 0.85 (0.66 to 1.09; P = 0.187) for respiratory tract infections. The observed inverse association for wheeze was more pronounced and became statistically significant in the studies that measured 25 (OH) D levels in cord blood (0.43, 0.29 to 0.62; P < 0.001). Conclusions Accumulated evidence generated from this meta-analysis suggests that increased in utero exposure to 25 (OH) D is inversely associated with the risk of asthma and wheeze during childhood. These findings are in keeping with the results of two recently published randomized clinical trials of vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1508–1517
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number5
Early online date14 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


  • 25 (OH) D
  • asthma
  • wheeze
  • respiratory tract infections
  • meta-analysis
  • birth cohort studies

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of '<i>In utero </i>exposure to 25(OH) D and risk of childhood asthma, wheeze and respiratory tract infections: A meta-analysis of birth cohort studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Profiles

    No photo of Andrew K Wills

    Dr Andrew K Wills

    Person: Academic , Member

    Cite this