Influence of maternal and cord blood C-reactive protein on childhood respiratory symptoms and eczema.
Inflammatory processes during pregnancy might affect fetal lung development and immune responses. We examined the associations of maternal and cord blood C-reactive protein levels with respiratory symptoms and eczema in preschool children.
This study was embedded in a population-based prospective cohort study of 4984 children. Generalized estimating equations were used to assess the effect of C-reactive protein levels on respiratory symptoms or eczema. C-reactive protein levels were measured during early pregnancy and at birth. Wheezing, lower respiratory tract infections, and eczema until the age of 4 yr were annually obtained by questionnaires.
Maternal C-reactive protein was not associated with the risks of wheezing and lower respiratory tract infections.
Compared to children with maternal C-reactive protein in the lowest quarter, children in the highest quarter had increased risks of eczema OR 1.20 (1.03, 1.40).
Compared to children with cord blood C-reactive protein lower than 0.20 mg/l, those with levels higher than 0.20 mg/l had increased risks of wheezing, OR 1.21 (1.07, 1.36), and lower respiratory tract infections, OR 1.21 (1.05, 1.39), but not of eczema.
Our results suggest that elevated maternal C-reactive protein in pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of eczema, and C-reactive protein in cord blood with a higher risk of wheezing and lower respiratory tract infections in the first 4 yrs.
Further Readings of Interest
Elevated maternal C-reactive protein and autism in a national birth cohort.
Autism is a complex neuropsychiatric syndrome with a largely unknown etiology. Inflammation during pregnancy may represent a common pathway by which infections and other insults increase risk for the disorder.
Hence, we investigated the association between early gestational C-reactive protein (CRP), an established inflammatory biomarker, prospectively assayed in maternal sera, and childhood autism in a large national birth cohort with an extensive serum biobank. Other strengths of the cohort included nearly complete ascertainment of pregnancies in Finland (N=1.2 million) over the study period and national psychiatric registries consisting of virtually all treated autism cases in the population.
Increasing maternal CRP levels, classified as a continuous variable, were significantly associated with autism in offspring.
For maternal CRP levels in the highest quintile, compared with the lowest quintile, there was a significant, 43% elevated risk.
This finding suggests that maternal inflammation may have a significant role in autism, with possible implications for identifying preventive strategies and pathogenic mechanisms in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.