Associations between pre-pregnancy obesity and asthma symptoms in adolescents.
Patel SP., Rodriguez A., Little MP., Elliott P., Pekkanen J., Hartikainen AL., Pouta A., Laitinen J., Harju T., Canoy D., Järvelin MR.
BACKGROUND: The high prevalence of children's asthma symptoms, worldwide, is unexplained. We examined the relation between maternal pre-pregnancy weight and body mass index (BMI), and asthma symptoms in adolescents. METHODS: Data from 6945 adolescents born within the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 were used. Prospective antenatal and birth outcome data, including maternal pre-pregnancy weight and BMI, and asthma symptoms in adolescent offspring at age 15-16 years, were employed. Logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the associations between relevant prenatal factors and asthma symptoms during adolescence. RESULTS: Current wheeze (within the past year) was reported by 10.6% of adolescents, and physician-diagnosed asthma by 6.0%. High maternal pre-pregnancy BMI was a significant predictor of wheeze in the adolescents (increase per kilogram per square metre unit; 2.7%, 95% CI 0.9 to 4.4 for ever wheeze; 3.5%, 95% CI 1.3 to 5.8 for current wheeze), and adjusting for potential confounders further increased the risk (2.8%, 95% CI 0.5 to 5.1; 4.7%, 95% CI 1.9 to 7.7, respectively). High maternal pre-pregnancy weight, in the top tertile, also significantly increased the odds of current wheeze in the adolescent by 20% (95% CI 4 to 39), and adjusting for potential confounders further increased the risk (OR=1.52, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.95). Results were similar for current asthma. Furthermore, these significant associations were observed only among adolescents without parental history of atopy but not among those with parental history of atopy. CONCLUSIONS: The association demonstrated here between maternal pre-pregnancy overweight and obesity, and asthma symptoms in adolescents suggests that increase in asthma may be partly related to the rapid rise in obesity in recent years.