Background Recent studies have reported an association between maternal use of gastric acid-suppressive drugs during pregnancy and asthma in the offspring, but the association could have been confounded by unmeasured risk factors.
Objective We assessed the association between the use of acid-suppressive drugs during pregnancy and the risk of developing childhood asthma using a bidirectional crossover design.
Methods Mother-infant matched sets in the UK General Practitioners Research Database were used to identify children with a drug-treated asthma diagnosis during the years 2006-2010 who were matched to a sibling without asthma as controls. Primary exposure was use of any anti-suppressive drug during pregnancy, and subgroup analyses were conducted according to drug class (e.g. proton pump inhibitors or histamine 2 receptor antagonists) and trimester. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) with their corresponding 95 % confidence intervals (CIs).
Results A total of 1,874 children with asthma and 1,874 control siblings were included in the analysis. The exposure rate among case and control pregnancies was 22 and 20 %, respectively. After adjustments for gender, birth order, mother's age and general practice visits, the exposure to any gastric-acid suppressive drug during pregnancy slightly increased the risk for developing asthma (OR 1.23, 95 % CI 1.01-1.51; p = 0.042). A trend towards increased risks was observed for those who used proton pump inhibitors and/or histamine 2 receptor antagonists (adjusted OR 1.72, 95 % CI 1.00-2.98; p = 0.048).
Conclusion These findings lend support to the emerging evidence that exposure to acid-suppressive drugs during pregnancy is associated with childhood asthma. More basic research is now warranted to investigate the mechanisms.
- FOOD ALLERGY