Maternal, childhood fructose intake linked to asthma

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A high intake of fructose during the second trimester of pregnancy and in children aged 2 years is associated with an increased risk of asthma, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology meeting in Houston.

A mother’s intake of sugar-sweetened drinks during pregnancy increased their child’s risk of developing asthma by 22%, and a similar association was seen in children who consumed a lot of fructose at age 2.

The study included 1,111 mother-child pairs from the Project Viva longitudinal pre-birth cohort study. The researchers estimated maternal fructose intake and the children’s fructose intake at age 2 from self-reported food frequency questionnaires.

At a median age of 7.7 years, the researchers evaluated asthma prevalence based on self-reported confirmation of diagnosis. They found that 19.7% of children had been diagnosed with asthma.

When they examined the relationships of different types of fructose with asthma risk, the researchers found that the children of mothers who drank sugar-sweetened beverages during pregnancy had the highest risk of asthma. Children who drank more juice at age 2 had a higher risk as well.

The study also found that mothers with the highest fructose intake tended to have a lower family income, a higher BMI, and were more likely to be black.

In addition to asthma, fructose intake has been linked to dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, hypertension, and gout.

High fructose intake by pregnant mothers and young children is linked to asthma.
High fructose intake by pregnant mothers and young children is linked to asthma.

HOUSTON -- A child's risk of asthma increased significantly with maternal fructose intake during pregnancy, data from a longitudinal cohort study showed.

The odds ratio for asthma in mid-childhood increased 22% for children whose mothers consumed large quantities of fructose during the second trimester of pregnancy. A similar asthma association existed for the child's fructose consumption at 2 years of age.

The mother's intake of sugar-sweetened beverages during pregnancy and children's juice consumption at 2 years appeared to drive the association with asthma, Lakiea Wright, MD, of Harvard and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston reported here at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology meeting.

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