SEARCH

Health » Policy & Issues

Updated: November 6, 2009 15:02 IST

Folic acid intake in late pregnancy leads to asthma in child

PTI
print   ·   T  T  
A child attending an asthma camp, on the occasion of
The Hindu A child attending an asthma camp, on the occasion of "World Asthma Day" at Nilofer Hospital in Hyderabad. Photo: G. Krishnaswamy.

Children whose mothers have taken folic acid supplements in late pregnancy are at greater risk of developing allergic asthma, researchers said.

According to a recent study by University of Adelaide’s Robinson Institute, supplemental folic acid in late pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of asthma in children at the age of 3 to 5 years.

The timing of supplementation in pregnancy is important, one of the authors Michael Davies said, adding “folic acid supplements - recommended for pregnant women to prevent birth defects - appear to have “additional and unexpected” consequences in recent studies in mice and infants“.

“In our study, supplemental folic acid in late pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of asthma in children, but there was no evidence to suggest any adverse effects if supplements were taken in early pregnancy,” he said.

The study involved more than 500 women whose maternal diet and supplements were assessed twice during their pregnancy, with follow-up on their child’s asthma status at 3.5 years and 5.5 years, American Journal of Epidemiology reported.

Asthma was reported in 11.6 per cent of children at 3.5 years and 11.8 per cent of children at 5.5 years. Nearly a third of these children reported persistent asthma.

Current public health guidelines recommend that women consume a supplemental dose of 400 micrograms of folic acid per day in the month preceding and during the first trimester of pregnancy.


O
P
E
N

close

Recent Article in Policy & Issues

In this July 31, 2014 photo, a banner reading “Lets prevent the spread of Ebola”, hangs in front of the city hall in Monrovia, Liberia. The worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history surpassed 700 deaths in West Africa.

Ebola moving faster than control efforts: WHO

An Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 700 people in West Africa is moving faster than the efforts to control the disease, the head... »