Maternal fat intake during pregnancy and wheeze and eczema in Japanese infants: the Kyushu Okinawa Maternal and Child Health Study

Yoshihiro Miyake, Keiko Tanaka, Hitomi Okubo, Satoshi Sasaki, Masashi Arakawa
Annals of Epidemiology 2013, 23 (11): 674-80

PURPOSE: This cohort study examined the relationship between maternal intake of individual fatty acids, meat, and fish during pregnancy and the risk of wheeze and eczema in children aged 23-29 months because epidemiologic evidence on this topic is inconclusive.

METHODS: Subjects were 1354 Japanese mother-child pairs. Data on maternal intake during pregnancy were assessed with a validated diet history questionnaire. Data on symptoms of wheeze and eczema were based on criteria of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood.

RESULTS: Significant inverse exposure-response relationships were observed between maternal intake of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and EPA plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) during pregnancy and infantile wheeze although the adjusted odds ratios between extreme quartiles fell just short of the significance level. No such inverse relationships were detected for infantile eczema. Maternal intake of total fat, saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, total n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), α-linolenic acid, DHA, total n-6 PUFA, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, cholesterol, fish, and meat and the ratio of n-3 to n-6 PUFA consumption were not significantly related to infantile wheeze or eczema.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher maternal intake of EPA and EPA plus DHA during pregnancy may reduce the risk of infantile wheeze.

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