Maternal fecundity and asthma among offspring—is the risk programmed preconceptionally? Retrospective observational study

Children born to mothers who had more than two miscarriages, fertility problems, or prolonged time to pregnancy, had significantly higher risks of asthma during childhood. Maternal subfertility exposes offspring to an increased risk of asthma.

Like Comment


Maijakaisa Harju, M.D., Leea Keski-Nisula, M.D., Kaisa Raatikainen, M.D., Juha Pekkanen, M.D., Seppo Heinonen, M.D.

Volume 99, Issue 3, Pages 761-767.e1, 1 March 2013



To evaluate the association between maternal fecundity factors and time to pregnancy and risk of asthma in offspring.


Retrospective observational hospital-based birth cohort study.


A University-based Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Kuopio, University Hospital, Finland.


40,914 women, delivered between 1989 and 2007, were linked with the register for asthma reimbursement (n=2,577) for their offspring. Fecundity factors were recorded during pregnancy. Logistic regression analyses were used.



Main outcome measures:

Asthma among offspring.


The risk of asthma was significantly increased if mother had any infertility problems (aOR 1.39, 95%CI 1.19-1.63), medical infertility treatment (aOR 1.43, 95% CI 1.13-1.80) or any infertility treatment (aOR 1.50, 95%CI 1.26-1.79). The risk of asthma among offspring was also higher among mothers over two miscarriages (aOR 1.25, 95%CI 1.04-1.51) and time to pregnancy over 3 months (aOR 1.25, 95%CI 1.07 -1.45).


These findings suggest that maternal subfertility exposes offspring to an increased risk of asthma.

Read the full text at:

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.