University of Oulu

Koivusaari, K, Syrjälä, E, Niinistö, S, et al. Consumption of differently processed milk products and the risk of asthma in children. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2021; 33:e13659.

Consumption of differently processed milk products and the risk of asthma in children

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Author: Koivusaari, Katariina1,2; Syrjälä, Essi3; Niinistö, Sari1;
Organizations: 1Public Health and Welfare Department, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
2Department of Food and Nutrition, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
3Faculty of Social Sciences, Unit of Health Sciences, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
4Research, Development and Innovation Center, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
5Department of Pediatrics, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
6Research Centre for Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
7Immunogenetics Laboratory, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
8Public Health Medicine, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
9Department of Pediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
10Pediatric Research Center, Children's Hospital, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
11Research Program for Clinical and Molecular Metabolism, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
12Tampere Center for Child Health Research, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
13Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland
14Department of Pediatrics, PEDEGO Research Unit, Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-03-07


Background: Consumption of unprocessed cow’s milk has been associated with a lower risk of childhood asthma and/or atopy. Not much is known about differently processed milk products. We aimed to study the association between the consumption of differently processed milk products and asthma risk in a Finnish birth cohort.

Methods: We included 3053 children from the Finnish Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention (DIPP) Nutrition Study. Asthma and its subtypes were assessed at the age of 5 years, and food consumption by food records, at the age of 3 and 6 months and 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years. We used conventional and processing (heat treatment and homogenization)-based classifications for milk products. The data were analyzed using a joint model for longitudinal and time-to-event data.

Results: At the age of 5 years, 184 (6.0%) children had asthma, of whom 101 (54.9%) were atopic, 75 (40.8%) were nonatopic, and eight (4.3%) could not be categorized. Consumption of infant formulas [adjusted hazard ratio (95% confidence intervals) 1.15 (1.07, 1.23), p < 0.001] and strongly heat-treated milk products [1.06 (1.01, 1.10), p = 0.01] was associated with the risk of all asthma. Consumption of all cow’s milk products [1.09 (1.03, 1.15), p = 0.003], nonfermented milk products [1.08 (1.02, 1.14), p = 0.008], infant formulas [1.23 (1.13, 1.34), p < 0.001], and strongly heat-treated milk products [1.08 (1.02, 1.15), p = 0.006] was associated with nonatopic asthma risk. All these associations remained statistically significant after multiple testing correction.

Conclusions: High consumption of infant formula and other strongly heat-treated milk products may be associated with the development of asthma.

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Series: Pediatric allergy and immunology
ISSN: 0905-6157
ISSN-E: 1399-3038
ISSN-L: 0905-6157
Volume: 33
Issue: 1
Article number: e13659
DOI: 10.1111/pai.13659
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland (63672, 68292, 79685, 79686, 80846, 114666, 126813, 129492, 139391, 201988, 210632, 276475, and 308066); European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD/JDRF/Lilly Programme); Future Fund of the University of Helsinki; Väinö and Laina Kivi Foundation (Väinö ja Laina Kiven säätiö); Research Foundation of the Pulmonary Diseases; Tampere Tuberculosis Foundation; Finnish Food Research Foundation; Competitive Research Funding of the Turku and Oulu University Hospitals; Competitive State Research Financing of the Expert Responsibility area of Tampere University Hospital (grants 9E082, 9F089, 9G087, 9H027, 9H092, 9J029, 9J147, 9K045, 9K149, 9L035, 9L117, 9M029, 9M114, 9N086, 9P017, 9P057, 9R012, 9R055, 9S015, 9S074, 9T072, 9U065, 9V012, 9V072, 9X062, 9AA020, 9AA084, and 9AB083); JDRF (4-1998-274, 4-1999-731, and 4-2001-435); European Union (BMH4-CT98-3314); Novo Nordisk Foundation; Academy of Finland (Centre of Excellence in Molecular Systems Immunology and Physiology, Research 2012–2017, Decision No. 250114); and Sigrid Jusélius Foundation. The study sponsors had no role in the design, analysis, or writing of this article
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology published by European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.