Maternal Folate Intake During Pregnancy and Childhood Asthma in a Population Based Cohort

Christine Parr, Maria Magnus, Oystein Karlstad, Margaretha Haugen, Helga Refsum, Per Magne Ueland, A McCann, Per Nafstad, Siri Eldevik Haberg, Wenche Nystad, Stephanie London

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

31 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

RATIONALE:

A potential adverse effect of high folate intake during pregnancy on children's asthma development remains controversial.

OBJECTIVES:

To prospectively investigate folate intake from both food and supplements during pregnancy and asthma at age seven years when the diagnosis is more reliable than at preschool age.

METHODS:

This study included eligible children born 2002-2006 from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, a population-based pregnancy cohort, linked to the Norwegian Prescription Database. Current asthma at age seven was defined by asthma medications dispensed at least twice in the year (1,901 cases, n=39,846) or by maternal questionnaire report (1,624 cases, n=28,872). Maternal folate intake was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire validated against plasma folate. We used log-binomial and multinomial regression to calculate adjusted relative risks with 95% confidence intervals.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:

Risk of asthma was increased in the highest vs. lowest quintile of total folate intake with an adjusted relative risk of 1.23 (95% confidence interval 1.06 to 1.44) that was similar for maternally reported asthma. Mothers in the highest quintile had a relatively high intake of food folate (median 308, interquartile range 241-366 μg/day) and nearly all took at least 400 μg/day of supplemental folic acid (median 500, interquartile range 400-600).

CONCLUSIONS:

In this large prospective population based cohort with essentially complete follow-up, pregnant women taking supplemental folic-acid at or above the recommended dose, combined with a diet rich in folate, reach a total folate intake level that may slightly increase risk of asthma in children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-156
Number of pages26
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Volume195
Issue number2
Early online date12 Aug 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • children's asthma development
  • birth cohort
  • epidemiology
  • maternal diet

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