MONDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Children whose mothers used paracetamol during their pregnancy may have a slightly increased risk of childhood wheeze, according to a meta-analysis published in the April issue of Clinical & Experimental Allergy.
Sally Eyers, M.B.Ch.B., from the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand in Wellington, and colleagues reviewed six studies involving children aged 2.5 to 7 years to assess the association between paracetamol use during pregnancy and subsequent asthma in childhood. Wheeze in the last 12 months was the primary outcome variable. Raw data, unadjusted for confounding factors, were pooled to produce a random effects odds ratio (OR).
The researchers found that there was a slightly increased risk of current wheeze in children whose mothers were exposed to any paracetamol during their pregnancy (pooled random effects OR, 1.21). The studies variably included correlations between the use of paracetamol during all trimesters of pregnancy and persistent asthma, severe asthma, and atopy.
"More research is urgently required to determine the impact of paracetamol during pregnancy on the risk of wheezing in offspring so that appropriate public health recommendations can be made," the authors write.