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Associations of α- and γ-tocopherol during early life with lung function in childhood

Kumar, R.; Ferrie, R. P.; Balmert, L. C.; Kienzl, M.; Rifas-Shiman, S. L.; Gold, D. R.; Sordillo, J. E.; Kleinman, K.; Camargo, C. A., Jr.; Litonjua, A. A.; Oken, E.; Cook-Mills, J. M.

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2020 Apr 29


BACKGROUND: Tocopherol isoforms may regulate child lung growth and spirometric measures. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to determine the extent to which plasma α-tocopherol (α-T) or γ-tocopherol (γ-T) isoform levels in early childhood or in utero are associated with childhood lung function. METHODS: We included 622 participants in the Project Viva cohort who had lung function at a mid-childhood visit (age 6-10 years). Maternal and child tocopherol isoform levels were measured by HPLC at the second trimester and 3 years of age, respectively. Multivariable linear regression models (adjusted for mid-childhood body mass index z scores, maternal education, smoking in pregnancy, and prenatal particulate matter with diameter of <2.5 micrometers (PM(2.5)) particulate exposure) stratified by tertiles of child γ-T level were used to assess the association of α-T levels with FEV(1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) percent predicted. Similarly, models stratified by child α-T tertile evaluated associations of γ-T levels with lung function. We performed similar analyses with maternal second trimester tocopherol isoform levels. RESULTS: The median maternal second trimester α-T level was 63 μM (interquartile range = 47-82). The median early-childhood level was 25 μM (interquartile range = 20-33 μM). In the lowest tertile of early-childhood γ-T, children with a higher α-T level (per 10 μM) had a higher mid-childhood FEV(1) percent predicted (β = 3.09; 95% CI = 0.58-5.59 and a higher FVC percent predicted (β = 2.77; 95% CI = 0.47-5.06). This protective association of α-T was lost at higher γ-T levels. We did not see any consistent associations of second trimester levels of either α-T or γ-T with mid-childhood FEV(1) or FVC. CONCLUSION: When γ-T levels were in the lowest tertile, a higher early-childhood α-T level was associated with better lung function at mid-childhood. Second trimester maternal plasma α-T concentration was 3-fold higher than in the adult nonpregnant female population.

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