Caesarean babies have higher risk of asthma

January 11th, 2012 - 7:56 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 11 (IANS) Babies delivered through Caesarean section have higher chances of developing asthma, even among those whose parents do not suffer from asthma and allergies.

Data from more than 37,000 participants in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) were used to examine the relationship between delivery method and the development of lower respiratory tract infections, wheezing and asthma in the first three years of life.

Children born by planned or emergency caesarean section were compared with those born vaginally.

“It is unlikely that a caesarean delivery itself would cause an increased risk of asthma. Rather children delivered this way may have an underlying vulnerability,” said Maria Magnus, study author and researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

The results indicate that children born by caesarean section have a slightly elevated risk for asthma at three years, but have no increased risk of frequent lower respiratory tract infections or wheezing.

The increased risk of asthma among children delivered by caesarean section was higher among children of mothers without allergies.

Children delivered by caesarean section may have an increased risk of asthma due to an altered bacterial flora in the intestine that affects their immune system development, or because children born this way often have an increased risk of serious respiratory problems during the first weeks of life.

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