Food and Behaviour Research

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Prenatal and Early-life Fructose, Fructose-containing Beverages, and Mid-Childhood Asthma

Wright LS, Rifas-Shiman SL, Oken E, Litonjua AA, Gold D (2017) Ann Am Thorac Soc.  2017 Dec.  doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201707-530OC. [Epub ahead of print] 

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVE:

To examine associations of maternal prenatal and early childhood intake of sugar sweetened beverages and fructose with current asthma in mid-childhood (median 7.7years).

METHODS:

We assessed maternal pregnancy (1st and 2nd trimester average) and child (median 3.3years) intake of sugar sweetened beverages and total fructose using food frequency questionnaires in 1068 mother-child pairs from Project Viva, a prospective pre-birth cohort. In a multivariable analysis, we examined associations of quartiles of maternal and child sugar sweetened beverage, juice, and total fructose intake with child current asthma in mid-childhood, assessed by questionnaire as ever doctor-diagnosed asthma plus taking asthma medications or reporting wheezing in the past 12months.

RESULTS:

Higher maternal pregnancy sugar sweetened beverage consumption (mean 0.6 servings/day; range 0-5) was associated with younger maternal age, non-white race/ethnicity, lower education and income, and higher pre-pregnancy BMI. Adjusting for pre-pregnancy BMI and other covariates, comparing quartile 4 v. quartile 1, higher maternal pregnancy intake of sugar sweetened beverages (OR 1.70; 95%CI 1.08, 2.67) and total fructose (OR 1.58; 0.98, 2.53) were associated with greater odds of mid-childhood current asthma (prevalence=19%). Higher early childhood fructose intake (quartile 4 v. quartile 1) was also associated with mid-childhood current asthma in models adjusted for maternal sugar sweetened beverages (OR 1.79; 1.07, 2.97) and after additional adjustment for mid-childhood BMI z-score (OR 1.77; 1.06, 2.95).

CONCLUSION:

Higher sugar sweetened beverage and fructose intake during pregnancy and in early childhood may influence childhood asthma development, in part through mechanisms apart from adiposity.