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C-Section Linked to Increased Risk for Crohn Disease in Offspring

No association seen between mode of delivery and other gastrointestinal disorders later in life among offspring

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Cesarean delivery is associated with an increased risk for Crohn disease in offspring later in life, according to a study published online Aug. 4 in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.

Christine Hellsing, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues examined whether cesarean section is associated with an increased risk for gastrointestinal disease later in life in a population of full-term individuals registered in the Medical Birth Register in Sweden between 1990 and 2000. The study population, which consisted of 1,102,468 individuals, was followed until 2017. Overall, 11.6 and 88.4 percent of the population were delivered by cesarean section and vaginally, respectively.

The researchers found that cesarean section was associated with Crohn disease, diverticulosis, and cholecystitis in a univariate analysis (hazard ratios, 1.13, 1.57, and 1.16, respectively). After adjustment for confounders, the increased risk only persisted for Crohn disease (hazard ratio, 1.14). In a multivariate analysis, there were no associations seen between mode of delivery and appendicitis, ulcerative colitis, cholecystitis, or diverticulosis.

“Our study is the largest in this field, showing new interesting associations between cesarean section and increased risk later in life for Crohn’s disease,” a coauthor said in a statement. “We hypothesize that the underlying mechanism could be the gut microbiome, but further studies will have to confirm this.”

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