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Peanut and tree nut consumption during pregnancy and allergic disease in children—should mothers decrease their intake? Longitudinal evidence from the Danish National Birth Cohort.

Maslova, E., C. Granstrőm, S. Hansen, S.B. Petersen, M. Strøm, W.C. Willett, S.F. Olsen, 2012.  Peanut and tree nut consumption during pregnancy and allergic disease in children—should mothers decrease their intake? Longitudinal evidence from the Danish National Birth Cohort. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 130:724-32.

Background: The relation between maternal peanut intake during pregnancy and allergic disease development in children has been controversial. Objective: We used data from the Danish National Birth Cohort to examine associations between maternal peanut and tree nut intake during pregnancy and allergic outcomes in children at 18 months and 7 years of age. Methods: We estimated maternal peanut and tree nut intake (n 5 61,908) using a validated midpregnancy food frequency questionnaire. At 18 months, we used parental report of childhood asthma diagnosis, wheeze symptoms, and recurrent wheeze (>3 episodes). We defined current asthma at 7 years as doctor-diagnosed asthma plus wheeze in the past 12 months and allergic rhinitis as a self-reported doctor’s diagnosis. We also used alternative classifications based on registry-based International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, codes and drug dispensary data. We report here odds ratios (ORs) comparing intake of 1 or more times per week versus no intake. Results: We found that maternal intake of peanuts (OR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.65-0.97) and tree nuts (OR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.67-0.84) was inversely associated with asthma in children at 18 months of age. Compared with mothers consuming no peanuts, children whose mothers reported eating peanuts 1 or more times per week were 0.66 (95% CI, 0.44-0.98) and 0.83 (95% CI, 0.70-1.00) times as likely to have a registry-based and medication related asthma diagnosis, respectively. Higher tree nut intake was inversely associated with a medication-related asthma diagnosis (OR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.73-0.90) and self-reported allergic rhinitis (OR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.64-1.01). Conclusions: Our results do not suggest that women should decrease peanut and tree nut intake during pregnancy; instead, consumption of peanuts and tree nuts during pregnancy might even decrease the risk of allergic disease development in children.