Background: Cesarean section might be a risk factor for asthma due to a delayed microbial colonization, but the association remains controversial.
Objective: To investigate prospectively whether children born by cesarean section are more at risk of having asthma in childhood, and sensitization at the age of 8 years taking into account the parental allergic status.
Methods: We studied 2,917 children, who participated in a birth cohort study and followed for 8 years. The definition of asthma included wheeze, dyspnea and prescription of inhaled steroids. In a subgroup (n=1,454), serum IgE antibodies for inhalant and food allergens were measured at 8 years.
Results: In the total study population, 12.4% (362) of the children had asthma at the age of 8 years. Cesarean section, with a total prevalence of 8.5%, was associated with an increased risk of asthma (odds ratio [OR], 1.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.27-2.51). This association was stronger among predisposed children (with two allergic parents: OR, 2.91; 95% CI, 1.20-7.05; with only one: OR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.12-3.09) than in children with non-allergic parents (OR, 1.36; 95% CI, 0.77-2.42). The association between cesarean section and sensitization at the age of 8 years was significant only in children of non-allergic parents (OR, 2.14; 95% CI, 1.16-3.98).
Conclusions: Children born by cesarean section have a higher risk of asthma than those born by vaginal delivery, particularly children of allergic parents. Cesarean section increases the risk for sensitization to common allergens, in children with non-allergic parents only.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.