MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Bo Chawes, MD, PhD, DMSc
Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood
Herlev and Gentofte Hospital
University of Copenhagen
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: There has been a global surge in vitamin D deficiency happening in parallel with an increase in prevalence of childhood asthma, which suggests that low maternal vitamin D levels during pregnancy may increase asthma risk in the child.
Due to that we conducted a randomized double-blinded controlled trial within the Danish COPSAC2010 cohort (www.copsac.com) of 7-fold (2,800 IU/d) vs. standard dose (400 IU/d) of vitamin D supplementation from pregnancy week 24 aiming to reduce offspring asthma risk. At age 3, we observed a non-significant 24% reduced risk of recurrent asthma-like symptoms, ie. recurrent wheeze, in the high-dose vitamin D group. In the current study, we followed 545 of the 581 children in the study till age 6, where an asthma diagnosis can be established and observed no effect of the high-dose vitamin D supplement on the child’s risk of asthma.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: High-dose vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy does not reduce the child’s risk of developing asthma by age 6. In addition, no effect was observed on lung function or allergy outcomes.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Although we observed no overall effect of the high-dose vitamin D supplement it should be investigated whether the effect is modified by environmental, dietary or genetic factors such as the child’s genetic risk of asthma or genetic variants in the vitamin D metabolism. If such at-risk pregnancies could be identified it may pave a path for personalized prevention of asthma.
We report no conflict of interest.
Brustad N, Eliasen AU, Stokholm J, Bønnelykke K, Bisgaard H, Chawes BL. High-Dose Vitamin D Supplementation During Pregnancy and Asthma in Offspring at the Age of 6 Years. JAMA. 2019;321(10):1003–1005. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.0052
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