COPSAC’s Hans Bisgaard discusses a clinical study on The prevention of childhood asthma by using fish oil supplementation for pregnant women
IN 2015, US President Barack Obama introduced a focused research effort, Precision Medicine, aimed at revolutionising how we improve health, increase disease prevention and treatment by taking into account ‘individual differences in human genes, environments and lifestyles’. So far, Precision Medicine has mainly focused on treatment (saving the burning house) rather than trying to prevent disease (preventing the fire from starting).
At Copenhagen Prospective Studies of Asthma in Childhood (COPSAC) we have conducted a large clinical trial that aimed to prevent childhood asthma via fish oil supplementation for pregnant women. We have demonstrated that fish oil supplementation in the third trimester reduced childhood asthma by a third, and that women with low dietary intake, low blood levels and/or genetic risk variant had the highest effect of approximately 50% risk reduction. These results show that a lesser known sibling of Precision Medicine, Precision Prevention, has a large potential.