Cesarean Section and Chronic Immune Disorders

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In recent decades, chronic diseases, such as asthma, allergies, and type 1 diabetes, have been on the rise in westernized countries. It is theorized there is an association between environmental perinatal risk factors that increase immune disorders, and studies have shown an increase in asthma and allergies associated with cesarean delivery. This study analyzed the potential association of delivery by cesarean delivery with immune disorders to investigate the potential influence cesarean deliveries could have on development of such conditions.Data from registries in Denmark were used to identify children born between 1977 and 2012. Data were collected on mode of delivery as well as other variables, and the association with several immune diseases was analyzed. The data set included 2 million children over that 35-year period. Nine diseases and 8 confounders were analyzed. The effects of cesarean versus vaginal birth were investigated, and all data were analyzed using log-linear Poisson regression models. It was found that children born by cesarean were more likely to develop immune diseases such as asthma, systematic connective tissue disorders, juvenile arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, immune deficiencies, and leukemia, with odds ratio ranging from 1.1 to 1.46. Cesarean delivery was not found to be associated with type 1 diabetes, psoriasis, or celiac disease.This observational study suggests that cesarean deliveries are an environmental contributing risk for immune disorders to develop. Better understanding of chronic immune diseases at it earliest origins may help in developing treatments that prevent these diseases.

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