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ACAAI: Youth Asthma Linked to Maternal Antioxidant Levels

Risk higher in children born to moms with low alpha- and beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin

TUESDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Children of mothers with low levels of certain antioxidants may be at higher risk of developing asthma, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from Nov. 5 to 10 in Miami Beach, Fla.

Kamal Eldeirawi, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois in Chicago, analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III on 2,290 pairs of mothers and children. The children ranged from 2 months to 6 years of age. The objective was to assess any relationships of doctor-diagnosed asthma in children with maternal levels of beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin.

The researchers found that mothers of children with asthma had lower serum concentrations of these antioxidants. The odds ratios for asthma in children of mothers with concentrations in the fifth quintile compared to the first quintile were 2.53, 3.48, and 2.60 for alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin, respectively.

"Our study demonstrated inverse associations of maternal serum levels of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin with the odds of asthma in children. These findings add to the growing body of literature linking asthma in children with maternal dietary factors and highlight the need for longitudinal studies to further examine the relationships of maternal diet during pregnancy or early in the child's life with the risk of asthma in children," the author concludes.

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