Maternal dietary fat and fatty acid intake during lactation and the risk of asthma in the offspring

Authors

  • M Lumia,

    1. Nutrition Unit, Department of Lifestyle and Participation, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
    2. School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
    3. Children’s Hospital, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
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  • P Luukkainen,

    1. Children’s Hospital, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
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  • M Kaila,

    1. Hjelt Institute, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
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  • H Tapanainen,

    1. Nutrition Unit, Department of Lifestyle and Participation, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
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  • H-M Takkinen,

    1. School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
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  • M Prasad,

    1. Nutrition Unit, Department of Lifestyle and Participation, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
    2. School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
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  • S Niinistö,

    1. Nutrition Unit, Department of Lifestyle and Participation, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
    2. Hjelt Institute, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
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  • B I Nwaru,

    1. School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
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  • M G Kenward,

    1. Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK
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  • J Ilonen,

    1. Immunogenetics Laboratory, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
    2. Department of Clinical Microbiology, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
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  • O Simell,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
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  • M Knip,

    1. Children’s Hospital, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
    2. Department of Pediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
    3. Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland
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  • R Veijola,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
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  • S M Virtanen

    1. Nutrition Unit, Department of Lifestyle and Participation, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
    2. School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
    3. Science Center of Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Tampere University Hospital and University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
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M Lumia, M.D., Nutrition Unit, Department of Lifestyle and Participation, National Institute for Health and Welfare, PO Box 30, FIN-00271 Helsinki, Finland. Tel: +358504944999 | Fax: +358206108591 | Email: mirka.lumia@thl.fi

Abstract

Aim:  To explore the association between maternal dietary fat and fatty acid (FA) intake during lactation, and the risk of asthma in the offspring by the age of 5 years.

Methods:  The subjects comprised 1798 mother–child pairs from the Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention (DIPP) Nutrition Study. Dietary intake was assessed by a validated 181-item food frequency questionnaire, which covered the third month of lactation. The cumulative incidence of asthma was assessed at the age of 5 years with a questionnaire modified from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC). Cox proportional hazards regression was used for statistical analysis.

Results:  The maternal use of margarines during lactation was associated with a marginally increased risk of asthma [hazard ratio (HR) for user vs. nonuser 1.96, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01–3.82, p = 0.047] after adjusting for putative confounders. The maternal intakes of n-3 polyunsaturated FA (PUFA) and fish during lactation were not associated with the risk of asthma.

Conclusion:  Maternal use of margarines during lactation was weakly associated with an increased risk of asthma in the offspring at the age of 5 years. Other fats or FAs during lactation were not associated with the risk of asthma. However, the nonadherence to dietary recommendations regarding especially fats of our study population may restrict the generalizability of our results.

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