Maternal Diet May Affect Childhood Asthma Risk

July 16, 2008

Children whose mothers ate nuts on a daily basis during pregnancy may be at increased risk of asthma, according to the results of a study published in the July 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

WEDNESDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- Children whose mothers ate nuts on a daily basis during pregnancy may be at increased risk of asthma, according to the results of a study published in the July 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Saskia M. Willers, of Utrecht University in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and colleagues analyzed data on 4,146 pregnant women who gave information on their diet during pregnancy. Their children were followed-up until the age of 8 years and complete data was available for 2,832 children.

Although there was no association between longitudinal childhood outcomes and maternal consumption of vegetables, fish, eggs, milk, milk products or nuts, the odds of wheeze, dyspnea, steroid use and asthma symptoms all increased among children whose mothers ate nuts on a daily basis while pregnant, the researchers report. There was a small beneficial effect of daily fruit consumption on wheeze, they note.

"Further studies are needed to determine if the beneficial effects of maternal fruit consumption during pregnancy can be attributed to specific nutrients, specific kinds of fruit, or that fruit consumption is an indicator of a healthier lifestyle," the authors write. "The findings of this study need to be replicated by other studies before influencing dietary advice to pregnant women."

One of the study authors reports a financial relationship with the pharmaceutical industry.

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