Babies born by Cesarean section may have a moderately increased risk of developing asthma compared with those born naturally, Norwegian researchers report after investigating this link in a population-wide study.
Dr. Mette C. Tollanes, of the University of Bergen, in Norway, and colleagues looked at the modes of delivery among more than 1.7 million single births reported to the Medical Birth Registry of Norway between 1967 and 1998.
They used registry data from Norway’s National Insurance Scheme to determine the number of children who, through the age of 18 or the year 2002, developed severe asthma.
Between 1967 and 1998, asthma risk was about 50 percent higher among children born by C-section compared with children born spontaneously and vaginally, the researchers report.
They found 19 percent increased risk among children born by vaginal delivery requiring the use of instruments (forceps or vacuum).
From 1988 through 1998, when the birth registry designated between emergency and planned C-section deliveries, unexpected differences emerged.
Compared with spontaneous vaginal deliveries during this period, emergency C-sections carried higher asthma risk (59 percent) than planned C-sections (42 percent increased risk). Instrument-assisted vaginal deliveries brought a 14 percent increased asthma risk during this 10-year period.
Read more information at Reuters