Effect of Supplemental Folic Acid in Pregnancy on Childhood Asthma

A Prospective Birth Cohort Study

M WHITROW, V MOORE, Alice Rumbold, M DAVIES

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the effect of the timing, dose, and source of folate during pregnancy on childhood asthma by using data from an Australian prospective birth cohort study (n = 557) from 1998 to 2005. At 3.5 years and 5.5 years, 490 and 423 mothers and children participated in the study, respectively. Maternal folate intake from diet and supplements was assessed by food frequency questionnaire in early (<16 weeks) and late (30-34 weeks) pregnancy. The primary outcome was physician-diagnosed asthma, obtained by maternal-completed questionnaire. Asthma was reported in 11.6% of children at 3.5 years (n = 57) and in 11.8% of children at 5.5 years (n = 50). Folic acid taken in supplement form in late pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of childhood asthma at 3.5 years (relative risk (RR) = 1.26, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08, 1.43) and with persistent asthma (RR = 1.32, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.69). The effect sizes did not change with adjustment for potential confounders. The association was similar at 5.5 years but did not reach statistical significance (RR = 1.17, 95% CI: 0.96, 1.42) in univariable models. These findings on childhood asthma support previous observations that supplementation with folate in pregnancy leads to an allergic asthma phenotype in mice via epigenetic mechanisms and is associated with poorer respiratory outcomes in young children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1486-1493
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Volume170
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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Folic Acid
Cohort Studies
Asthma
Parturition
Pregnancy
Mothers
Confidence Intervals
Epigenomics
Diet
Physicians
Phenotype
Food

Cite this

WHITROW, M ; MOORE, V ; Rumbold, Alice ; DAVIES, M. / Effect of Supplemental Folic Acid in Pregnancy on Childhood Asthma : A Prospective Birth Cohort Study. In: American Journal of Epidemiology. 2009 ; Vol. 170, No. 12. pp. 1486-1493.
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abstract = "This study aimed to investigate the effect of the timing, dose, and source of folate during pregnancy on childhood asthma by using data from an Australian prospective birth cohort study (n = 557) from 1998 to 2005. At 3.5 years and 5.5 years, 490 and 423 mothers and children participated in the study, respectively. Maternal folate intake from diet and supplements was assessed by food frequency questionnaire in early (<16 weeks) and late (30-34 weeks) pregnancy. The primary outcome was physician-diagnosed asthma, obtained by maternal-completed questionnaire. Asthma was reported in 11.6{\%} of children at 3.5 years (n = 57) and in 11.8{\%} of children at 5.5 years (n = 50). Folic acid taken in supplement form in late pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of childhood asthma at 3.5 years (relative risk (RR) = 1.26, 95{\%} confidence interval (CI): 1.08, 1.43) and with persistent asthma (RR = 1.32, 95{\%} CI: 1.03, 1.69). The effect sizes did not change with adjustment for potential confounders. The association was similar at 5.5 years but did not reach statistical significance (RR = 1.17, 95{\%} CI: 0.96, 1.42) in univariable models. These findings on childhood asthma support previous observations that supplementation with folate in pregnancy leads to an allergic asthma phenotype in mice via epigenetic mechanisms and is associated with poorer respiratory outcomes in young children.",
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WHITROW, M, MOORE, V, Rumbold, A & DAVIES, M 2009, 'Effect of Supplemental Folic Acid in Pregnancy on Childhood Asthma: A Prospective Birth Cohort Study', American Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 170, no. 12, pp. 1486-1493.

Effect of Supplemental Folic Acid in Pregnancy on Childhood Asthma : A Prospective Birth Cohort Study. / WHITROW, M; MOORE, V; Rumbold, Alice; DAVIES, M.

In: American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 170, No. 12, 2009, p. 1486-1493.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Effect of Supplemental Folic Acid in Pregnancy on Childhood Asthma

T2 - A Prospective Birth Cohort Study

AU - WHITROW, M

AU - MOORE, V

AU - Rumbold, Alice

AU - DAVIES, M

PY - 2009

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N2 - This study aimed to investigate the effect of the timing, dose, and source of folate during pregnancy on childhood asthma by using data from an Australian prospective birth cohort study (n = 557) from 1998 to 2005. At 3.5 years and 5.5 years, 490 and 423 mothers and children participated in the study, respectively. Maternal folate intake from diet and supplements was assessed by food frequency questionnaire in early (<16 weeks) and late (30-34 weeks) pregnancy. The primary outcome was physician-diagnosed asthma, obtained by maternal-completed questionnaire. Asthma was reported in 11.6% of children at 3.5 years (n = 57) and in 11.8% of children at 5.5 years (n = 50). Folic acid taken in supplement form in late pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of childhood asthma at 3.5 years (relative risk (RR) = 1.26, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08, 1.43) and with persistent asthma (RR = 1.32, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.69). The effect sizes did not change with adjustment for potential confounders. The association was similar at 5.5 years but did not reach statistical significance (RR = 1.17, 95% CI: 0.96, 1.42) in univariable models. These findings on childhood asthma support previous observations that supplementation with folate in pregnancy leads to an allergic asthma phenotype in mice via epigenetic mechanisms and is associated with poorer respiratory outcomes in young children.

AB - This study aimed to investigate the effect of the timing, dose, and source of folate during pregnancy on childhood asthma by using data from an Australian prospective birth cohort study (n = 557) from 1998 to 2005. At 3.5 years and 5.5 years, 490 and 423 mothers and children participated in the study, respectively. Maternal folate intake from diet and supplements was assessed by food frequency questionnaire in early (<16 weeks) and late (30-34 weeks) pregnancy. The primary outcome was physician-diagnosed asthma, obtained by maternal-completed questionnaire. Asthma was reported in 11.6% of children at 3.5 years (n = 57) and in 11.8% of children at 5.5 years (n = 50). Folic acid taken in supplement form in late pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of childhood asthma at 3.5 years (relative risk (RR) = 1.26, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08, 1.43) and with persistent asthma (RR = 1.32, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.69). The effect sizes did not change with adjustment for potential confounders. The association was similar at 5.5 years but did not reach statistical significance (RR = 1.17, 95% CI: 0.96, 1.42) in univariable models. These findings on childhood asthma support previous observations that supplementation with folate in pregnancy leads to an allergic asthma phenotype in mice via epigenetic mechanisms and is associated with poorer respiratory outcomes in young children.

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KW - child health

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KW - diet

KW - health risk

KW - methylation

KW - phenotype

KW - pregnancy

KW - questionnaire survey

KW - risk factor

KW - vitamin

KW - adult

KW - allergic asthma

KW - article

KW - child

KW - controlled study

KW - diet supplementation

KW - epigenetics

KW - female

KW - food frequency questionnaire

KW - human

KW - major clinical study

KW - male

KW - preschool child

KW - prospective study

KW - vitamin supplementation

KW - Asthma

KW - Breast Feeding

KW - Child

KW - Child, Preschool

KW - Dietary Supplements

KW - Dose-Response Relationship, Drug

KW - Educational Status

KW - Female

KW - Folic Acid

KW - Humans

KW - Pregnancy

KW - Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects

KW - Prospective Studies

KW - Smoking

KW - Australasia

KW - Australia

KW - Mus

M3 - Article

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SP - 1486

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JO - American Journal of Epidemiology

JF - American Journal of Epidemiology

SN - 0002-9262

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