Heartburn drugs for pregnant mothers linked to baby asthma

Mothers who take heartburn medication during pregnancy may be putting their babies at a greater risk of developing asthma, new research has found.

Analysis of 1.3 million children revealed those whose mothers were prescribed drugs to deal with acid reflux in pregnancy were more likely to be treated for asthma in childhood.

Responding to the study conducted by the University of Edinburgh, Dr Martin Ward-Platt, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), said:

“This new work brings together several studies, which in combination point to a strong association between the use of acid-suppressant medicines in pregnancy and subsequent asthma and allergic disease in the offspring. It is possible and plausible that there is a causal connection but this study cannot prove it - there may easily be other unmeasured factors that give rise to the apparent link. The issue is important to mothers and children and needs to be resolved with a large randomised trial.”