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Does caesarean section delivery affect a child’s risk of developing gastrointestinal diseases?

New research published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica suggests that babies born via caesarean section delivery may face a higher risk of developing Crohn’s disease later in life.

In the national population-based study, all full-term individuals registered in the Medical Birth Register in Sweden between 1990 and 2000 were followed until 2017. Among 1,102,468 individuals, of whom 11.6% were delivered by caesarean section and 88.4% were vaginally delivered, caesarean section was associated with a 14% higher risk of developing Crohn’s disease after adjusting for confounding factors. No associations between delivery mode and appendicitis, ulcerative colitis, cholecystitis, or diverticulosis were found.

“Our study is the largest in this field, showing new, interesting, associations between caesarean section and increased risk later in life for Crohn’s disease. We hypothesize that the underlying mechanism could be the gut microbiome, but further studies will have to confirm this,” said senior author Anna Löf Granström, of the Karolinska Institute, in Sweden.

Paper: Hellsing C, et al. (2022). Delivery mode and risk of gastrointestinal disease in the offspring. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand.; https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/aogs.14427.

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