High-Dose Vitamin D During Pregnancy Did Not Reduce Risk of Childhood Asthma

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Bo Chawes, MD, PhD, DMScAssociate ProfessorC‌openhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in ChildhoodH‌erlev and G‌entofte H‌ospitalU‌niversity of C‌openhagen

Dr. Chawes

Bo Chawes, MD, PhD, DMSc
Associate Professor
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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