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.