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Keywords:

  • asthma;
  • cohort study;
  • eczema;
  • respiratory infections;
  • wheezing

Abstract

Background

Inflammatory processes during pregnancy might affect fetal lung development and immune responses. We examined the associations of maternal and cord blood C-reactive protein levels with respiratory symptoms and eczema in preschool children.

Methods

This study was embedded in a population-based prospective cohort study of 4984 children. Generalized estimating equations were used to assess the effect of C-reactive protein levels on respiratory symptoms or eczema. C-reactive protein levels were measured during early pregnancy and at birth. Wheezing, lower respiratory tract infections, and eczema until the age of 4 yr were annually obtained by questionnaires.

Results

Maternal C-reactive protein was not associated with the risks of wheezing and lower respiratory tract infections. Compared to children with maternal C-reactive protein in the lowest quarter, children in the highest quarter had increased risks of eczema OR 1.20 (1.03, 1.40). Compared to children with cord blood C-reactive protein lower than 0.20 mg/l, those with levels higher than 0.20 mg/l had increased risks of wheezing, OR 1.21 (1.07, 1.36), and lower respiratory tract infections, OR 1.21 (1.05, 1.39), but not of eczema.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that elevated maternal C-reactive protein in pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of eczema, and C-reactive protein in cord blood with a higher risk of wheezing and lower respiratory tract infections in the first 4 yrs.