Dr. Emma Goksor of the Queen Silvia Children's Hospital at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and colleagues analyzed responses from 4,171 randomly selected families, who answered questions when their child was 6 months, 12 months and 4 1/2 years of age.
The study examined children who had had three or more episodes of wheezing in the previous year, including those who did and did not use asthma medication (inhaled corticosteroid), comparing them with children who did not wheeze. The wheezy sample was further broken down into children who only developed episodic viral wheeze when they had colds and multiple trigger wheeze, where children also wheezed when they didn't have a cold, reacting to factors such as allergens, tobacco smoke or exercise, Goksor said.
The study, scheduled to be published in the December issue of Acta Paediatrica, found eating fish before the age of 9 months almost halved the likelihood of suffering recurrent wheeze at age 4 1/2. The fish most commonly eaten was white fish, followed by salmon and flat fish, said Goksor, the lead author.
The authors previously reported fish, which is thought to contain properties that reduce allergy risks, is beneficial in both eczema in infancy and allergic rhinitis at preschool age.