HealthDay News — Maternal prenatal and early childhood intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and fructose is associated with current asthma in midchildhood, regardless of adiposity, according to a study published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Lakiea S. Wright, MD, from Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and colleagues used food frequency questionnaires to examine maternal pregnancy and child intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and total fructose in 1068 mother-child pairs. The correlations of quartiles of maternal and child sugar-sweetened beverage, juice, and total fructose intake were assessed with child current asthma in mid-childhood (median age, 7.7 years).

Comparing quartile 4 with quartile 1, the researchers found that increased odds of mid-childhood current asthma were associated with higher maternal pregnancy intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (odds ratio, 1.70 [95% CI, 1.08 to 2.67]) and total fructose (odds ratio, 1.58 [95% CI, 0.98 to 2.53]). Adjustments were made for prepregnancy body mass index and other covariates. There was a correlation between higher early childhood fructose intake with mid-childhood current asthma in models adjusted for maternal sugar-sweetened beverages (odds ratio, 1.79 [95% CI, 1.07 to 2.97]) and after also adjusting for mid-childhood body mass index z-score (odds ratio, 1.77 [95% CI, 1.06 to 2.95]).

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“Higher sugar-sweetened beverage and fructose intake during pregnancy and in early childhood was associated with childhood asthma development independent of adiposity,” the authors wrote.

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Wright LS, Rifas-Shiman SL, Oken E, et al. Prenatal and early life fructose, fructose-containing beverages, and midchildhood asthma. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2018;15(2):217-224.