Prenatal C-reactive protein levels indicative of early-onset asthma
Systemic inflammation in at-risk mothers during pregnancy may be indicative of a prenatal environment that could increase a child’s risk for asthma and wheezing early in life, according to study results.
“Our research suggests a relationship between maternal inflammation and fetal immune development that may lead to childhood asthma,” Brittany Lapin, PhD, MPH, a statistician at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Illinois, told Healio.com/Allergy. “Interestingly, this relationship may be stronger in children who have a lower risk for developing asthma.”
Lapin and colleagues used data from the Peer Education in Pregnancy Study from 1998 through 2009 to analyze the association of systemic inflammation — as measured by C-reactive protein levels — with asthma and wheezing in children within an at-risk cohort.
The analysis included 244 mother–child pairs with an average maternal age of 25.7 years and a median prenatal C-reactive protein (CRP) level of 4.9 mg/L. Sixty-six percent of the study population included pairings of Mexican descent, and 34% of the population had maternal asthma.
Continuous prenatal CRP levels appeared predictive of asthma by year 3 (aRR = 2.4; 95% CI, 1.3-3.6) and wheezing in year 3 (aRR = 1.7; 95% CI, 1.1-2.4).
However, children born to mothers of Mexican descent had a moderate risk for asthma by year 3 (RR = 0.48; 95% CI, 0.22-0.97).
“In this study, Mexican children with mothers who do not smoke were at a lower risk of developing asthma by age 3,” Lapin told Healio.com/Allergy. “More research is necessary in this area before any suggestions can be made for pregnant women." – by Ryan McDonald
Disclosure: Lapin reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the full study for a list of all other researchers’ relevant financial disclosures.