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Folate status and asthma: an examination of the literature and implications for practice

Blatter, Joshua A (2014) Folate status and asthma: an examination of the literature and implications for practice. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Asthma has a major public health impact in the United States and worldwide. Climbing asthma rates have triggered a search for environmental factors that could be contributing to the prevalence or severity of asthma. Among substantial changes over the past several decades has been a dramatic increase in folate intake, caused by widespread foodstuff fortification as well as maternal vitamin supplementation. Findings in a murine model have suggested that folate supplementation affects offspring asthma risk. Cross-sectional studies in humans have yielded weak evidence of an inverse association between folate and asthma risk, in which lower folate is associated with greater odds of asthma. Birth cohort studies, on the other hand, have provided weak evidence of a positive association between maternal folate supplementation and offspring asthma risk. Folate is a methyl donor that could theoretically alter asthma risk by contributing to the methylation of disease-modifying genes. Nevertheless, given the weak evidence for folate in modifying asthma risk, as well as the proven public health importance of folate in the prevention of neural tube defects, there is insufficient evidence to change current recommendations regarding folate supplementation during pregnancy. More clarity from well-designed, large observational studies, with careful measurement of folate status and asthma phenotypes, is necessary.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Blatter, Joshua A
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFeingold, Eleanorfeingold@pitt.eduFEINGOLDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberCeledón, Juan Cceledonj@pitt.eduCELEDONJUNSPECIFIED
Date: 10 March 2014
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Multidisciplinary MPH
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 22 May 2015 22:04
Last Modified: 17 May 2024 10:55


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