The results of a new study reveal that systemic inflammation in at-risk mothers during pregnancy may be indicative of a prenatal environment that could increase a child’s risk for asthma and wheezing early in life, according to a Lung Disease News report. In the study titled “Relationship between in utero C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and asthma in at-risk children,” researchers examined the association of systemic inflammation, assessed by the levels of C-reactive protein with wheezing and asthma in a cohort of offspring within an at-risk mother.

Data was retrieved from the Peer Education in Pregnancy Study between 1998 and 2009, and a total of 244 mother/child pairs were included in the study. The average maternal age of 25.7 years and a median prenatal CRP level of 4.9 mg/L. The results revealed that continuous CRP levels were predictive of asthma by year 3 and wheezing in year 3. The Lung Disease News report notes the analysis also revealed that the associations were still significant in those mothers from a Mexican background and that were non-smokers, indicating that effects might be stronger in children at lower risk of disease.

Brittany Lapin, PhD, MPH, states, “Our research suggests a relationship between maternal inflammation and fetal immune development that may lead to childhood asthma. Interestingly, this relationship may be stronger in children who have a lower risk for developing asthma.”

Lapin adds, “In this study, Mexican children with mothers who do not smoke were at a lower risk of developing asthma by age 3. More research is necessary in this area before any suggestions can be made for pregnant women.”

Source: Lung Disease News