HealthDay News — Among children at risk for asthma, prenatal vitamin D supplementation does not affect the incidence of asthma or recurrent wheeze at age 6, according to a study published in the Feb. 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Augusto A. Litonjua, MD, MPH, from the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, and colleagues followed children enrolled in a trial of prenatal vitamin D supplementation to prevent asthma and recurrent wheeze in young children from age 3 to 6 years. The impact of maternal vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy (mothers received either 4400 IU [vitamin D group] or 400 IU [control group] of vitamin D3 per day) was examined on the incidence of asthma and recurrent wheeze at age 6 years.

The researchers found that in neither the intention-to-treat analysis nor an analysis with stratification according to the maternal 25-hydroxyvitamin D level during pregnancy was there an effect of maternal vitamin D supplementation on asthma and recurrent wheeze. Vitamin D supplementation also had no effect on most of the prespecified secondary outcomes. A very small effect on airway resistance was seen, as measured by impulse oscillometry, although the significance of this finding was uncertain.

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“The effect of prenatal supplementation on airway resistance through the age of 6 years suggests that there may be prenatal programming of lung airways, but these small effects will need to be validated in future studies,” the authors write.

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