Maternal asthma in relation to infant size and body composition

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The journal of allergy and clinical immunology. Global








Infant; adiposity; anthropometry; asthma; atopy; pregnancy; prospective study


BACKGROUND: Asthma affects 10% of pregnancies and may influence offspring health, including infant size and body composition, through hypoxic and inflammatory pathways. OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine associations between maternal asthma and asthma phenotypes during pregnancy and infant size and body composition. METHODS: The B-WELL-Mom study (2015-19) is a prospective cohort of 418 pregnant persons with and without asthma recruited in the first trimester of pregnancy from 2 US obstetric clinics. Exposures were maternal self-reported active asthma (n = 311) or no asthma (n = 107), and asthma phenotypes were classified on the bases of atopy, onset, exercise induced, control, severity, symptomology, and exacerbations. Outcomes were infant weight, length, head circumference, and skinfold measurements at birth and postnatal follow-up, as well as fat and lean mass assessed by air displacement plethysmography at birth. Adjusted multivariable linear regression examined associations of maternal asthma and asthma phenotypes with infant outcomes. RESULTS: Offspring were born at a mean ± SD of 38 ± 2.3 weeks' gestation and were 18 ± 2.2 weeks of age at postnatal follow-up. Infants of participants with asthma had a mean ± SD fat mass of 11.0 ± 4.2%, birth weight of 3045.8 ± 604.3 g, and postnatal follow-up weight of 6696.4 ± 964.2 g, which were not different from infants of participants without asthma (respectively, β [95% confidence interval]: -0.1 [-1.4, 1.3], -26.7 [-156.9, 103.4], and 107.5 [-117.3, 332.3]). Few associations were observed between asthma or asthma phenotypes and infant size or body composition. CONCLUSIONS: In a current obstetric cohort, maternal asthma during pregnancy was not associated with differential infant size or body composition.


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