Asthma at 8 years of age in children born by caesarean section

C. Roduit, S. Scholtens, J. C. de Jongste, A. H. Wijga, J. Gerritsen, D. S. Postma, B. Brunekreef, M. O. Hoekstra, R. Aalberse, H. A. Smit*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Caesarean section might be a risk factor for asthma because of delayed microbial colonisation, but the association remains controversial. A study was undertaken to investigate prospectively whether children born by caesarean section are more at risk of having asthma in childhood and sensitisation at the age of 8 years, taking into account the allergic status of the parents.

Methods: 2917 children who participated in a birth cohort study were followed for 8 years. The definition of asthma included wheeze, dyspnoea and prescription of inhaled steroids. In a subgroup (n = 1454), serum IgE antibodies for inhalant and food allergens were measured at 8 years.

Results: In the total study population, 12.4% (n = 362) of the children had asthma at the age of 8 years. Caesarean section, with a total prevalence of 8.5%, was associated with an increased risk of asthma (OR 1.79; 95% CI 1.27 to 2.51). This association was stronger among predisposed children (with two allergic parents: OR 2.91; 95% CI 1.20 to 7.05; with only one: OR 1.86; 95% CI 1.12 to 3.09) than in children with non-allergic parents (OR 1.36; 95% CI 0.77 to 2.42). The association between caesarean section and sensitisation at the age of 8 years was significant only in children of non-allergic parents (OR 2.14; 95% CI 1.16 to 3.98).

Conclusions: Children born by caesarean section have a higher risk of asthma than those born by vaginal delivery, particularly children of allergic parents. Caesarean section increases the risk for sensitisation to common allergens in children with non-allergic parents only.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalThorax
Volume64
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2009

Keywords

  • CHILDHOOD ASTHMA
  • ALLERGIC RHINITIS
  • EARLY INFANCY
  • DELIVERY
  • RISK
  • MODE
  • COMPLICATIONS
  • LIFE
  • ASSOCIATION
  • MICROFLORA

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