Vitamin C to pregnant smokers persistently improves infant airway function to 12 months of age: A randomised trial

Cindy T. McEvoy, Lyndsey E. Shorey-Kendrick, Kristin Milner, Diane Schilling, Christina Tiller, Brittany Vuylsteke, Ashley Scherman, Keith Jackson, David M. Haas, Julia Harris, Byung S. Park, Annette Vu, Dale F. Kraemer, David Gonzales, Carol Bunten, Eliot R. Spindel, Cynthia D. Morris, Robert S. Tepper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Vitamin C (500 mg•day−1) supplementation for pregnant smokers has been reported to increase newborn pulmonary function and infant forced expiratory flows (FEFs) at 3 months of age. Its effect on airway function through 12 months of age has not been reported. Objective: To assess whether vitamin C supplementation to pregnant smokers is associated with a sustained increased airway function in their infants through 12 months of age. Methods: This is a pre-specified secondary outcome of a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that randomised 251 pregnant smokers between 13 and 23 weeks of gestation: 125 to 500 mg•day1 vitamin C and 126 to placebo. Smoking cessation counselling was provided. FEFs performed at 3 and 12 months of age were analysed by repeated-measures analysis of covariance. Results: FEFs were performed in 222 infants at 3 months and 202 infants at 12 months of age. The infants allocated to vitamin C had significantly increased FEFs over the first year of life compared to those allocated to placebo. The overall increased flows were 40.2 mL•s−1 for at FEF75 (75% of forced vital capacity (FVC)) (adjusted 95% CI for difference 6.6–73.8; p=0.025); 58.3 mL•s−1 for FEF50 (10.9–105.8; p=0.0081); and 55.1 mL•s−1 for FEF2575 (9.7–100.5; p=0.013). Conclusions: In offspring of pregnant smokers randomised to vitamin C versus placebo, vitamin C during pregnancy was associated with a small but significantly increased airway function at 3 and 12 months of age, suggesting a potential shift to a higher airway function trajectory curve. Continued follow-up is underway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1902208
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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