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J Asthma. 2005 Jul-Aug;42(6):513-8.

Maternal fish consumption during pregnancy and risk of early childhood asthma.

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  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90033, USA.

Abstract

Maternal fish consumption during pregnancy may affect children's asthma risk by modulating early-life immune development. Type of fish intake may be important because of differences in fatty acid content. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a nested case-control study, selecting subjects from the Children's Health Study, a population-based study of school-aged children in southern California. Cases had physician-diagnosed asthma and controls were asthma-free by age 5 years. Mothers or guardians provided information on fish consumption during pregnancy in telephone interviews. We computed odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) by using conditional logistic regression models that accounted for the sampling. In children born to mothers with a history of asthma, the OR of asthma was 0.20 (95% CI = 0.06-0.65) when mothers ate oily fish at least monthly during pregnancy compared with no consumption (p(trend) = 0.006). Maternal oily fish consumption during pregnancy did not benefit children of non-asthmatic mothers. In contrast, fish stick (a source of trans-fats) consumption during pregnancy increased asthma risk in children (OR = 2.04; 95% CI = 1.18-3.51). Our results suggest that maternal oily fish intake during pregnancy may protect offspring from asthma; however, eating fish sticks during pregnancy may increase asthma risk in children.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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