Article Text

other Versions

Download PDFPDF
Prenatal acetaminophen exposure and risk of wheeze at age 5 years in an urban, low-income cohort
  1. Matthew Perzanowski,
  2. Rachel Miller,
  3. Deliang Tang,
  4. David Ali,
  5. Robin Garfinkel,
  6. Ginger Chew,
  7. Inge Goldstein,
  8. Frederica Perera,
  9. R Graham Barr*
  1. Columbia University, United States
  1. Correspondence to: R Graham Barr, /, /, /, /, United States; rgb9{at}


Background: Acetaminophen has been associated with asthma and is in part metabolized via the glutathione pathway. Inner-city minority children have high asthma morbidity and a relatively high frequency of a minor allele variant in the Glutathione S Transferase Pi gene (GSTP1). We hypothesized that prenatal acetaminophen exposure would predict wheeze at age 5 years in an inner-city minority cohort and examined whether this association was modified by common polymorphisms in genes related to the glutathione pathway.

Methods: An ongoing, population-based birth cohort study of Dominican and African-American children in New York prospectively assessed use of analgesics during pregnancy and current wheeze at age 5 years in 301 children. Genotyping was conducted for GST polymorphisms. Binomial regression was used to adjust for potential confounders including postnatal acetaminophen use.

Results: Thirty-four percent of mothers reported acetaminophen use during pregnancy and 27% of children had current wheeze at 5 years. Prenatal acetaminophen exposure predicted current wheeze (multivariate relative risk, 1.71; 95% CI 1.20-2.42; P=0.003) and the risk increased monotonically with increasing number of days of prenatal acetaminophen exposure (P-trend <0.001). Sixty-eight percent of children had at least one copy of the GSTP1 minor allele (Val). The risk of wheeze was modified by GSTP1 (additive interaction P=0.009) and was observed only among children with the GSTP1 minor allele.

Conclusions: Prenatal acetaminophen exposure predicted wheeze at age 5 years in an inner-city, minority cohort. The risk was modified by a functional polymorphism in GSTP1, suggesting a mechanism involving the glutathione pathway.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


Linked Articles

  • Editorial
    Victoria W Persky
  • Airwaves
    Wisia Wedzicha