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Cesarean section and development of the immune system in the offspring

Published:August 13, 2012DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2012.08.009
      This review examines the relation between the mode of delivery and development of the immune system in the offspring. Recent epidemiological studies provide evidence that elective cesarean section (CS) is associated with aberrant short-term immune responses in the newborn infant, and a greater risk of developing immune diseases such as asthma, allergies, type 1 diabetes, and celiac disease. However, it is still unknown whether CS causes a long-term effect on the immune system of the offspring that contributes to compromised immune health. With the dramatic increase in the rate of CS today, a greater emphasis should be placed on the discussion among both professionals and childbearing women on potential consequences of CS on the health of the offspring.

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      • Elective cesarean section and childhood asthma
        American Journal of Obstetrics & GynecologyVol. 209Issue 5
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          We have with great interest read the recent review on cesarean section and immune development in the offspring.1 Elective cesarean section may affect the gut flora up to 6 years of age. An increased risk of asthma and other immune disorders after elective cesarean section would be consistent with the hygiene hypotheses. However, a number of studies have now indicated a reversed trend of asthma among schoolchildren who were born in the 1990s when the use of cesarean section was still increasing. The findings from epidemiological studies have not been consistent and confounding control is problematic also in large and well-designed observational studies.
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