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Caesarean delivery increases risk of childhood food allergies

08 Nov 2018
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Infants born through caesarean delivery appear to be at higher risk of food allergies, while those born very preterm have lower risks, a recent study has found.

Using prospectively recorded data from healthcare registries, researchers analysed 1,086,378 live births in Sweden from 2001–2012. Cox regression analyses were performed to determine the relationships between perinatal characteristics and food allergies, as defined by the National Patient Register.

Over the 13-year study period, 2.5 percent (n=26,732) of children were reported to have food allergies. The median age at first diagnosis was 1.6 years and the median follow-up was 6.4 years.

Food allergies were significantly and positively correlated with caesarean delivery (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.21; 95 percent CI, 1.18–1.25), both elective (adjusted HR, 1.18; 1.13–1.23) and emergency (adjusted HR, 1.24; 1.19–1.29).

Similarly, the odds of the development of future food allergies were significantly elevated in babies born large for gestational age (adjusted HR, 1.15; 1.10–1.19) and with low Apgar scores (adjusted HR, 1.22; 1.10–1.36).

On the other hand, the risk of food allergies was significantly lower in infants born very preterm (adjusted HR, 0.74; 0.56–0.98). No such effect was observed for those born moderately preterm (adjusted HR, 0.96; 0.90–1.03) or post-term (adjusted HR, 1.01; 0.97–1.06). There was no link between small for gestational age and future food allergies.

The main methodological limitation of the study is its failure to control for particular important potential confounders such as breastfeeding and antibiotic use, said researchers.

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Most Read Articles
Roshini Claire Anthony, 5 days ago

Patients with mild hypertension who are at low risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) do not appear to derive mortality or CVD benefit from antihypertensive treatments, raising questions on the need for treatment in this population, according to a recent study from England.

Pearl Toh, 09 Nov 2018
A personalized computerized neurofeedback intervention for training attention and memory shows potential in cognitive training for healthy elderly men, who improved in cognitive performance after the training, although no significant improvements were seen in the overall study population.
3 days ago
Type 1 diabetes impairs cognitive functioning in children, and this effect is exacerbated by extreme glycaemic levels, according to a recent meta-analysis.
Pearl Toh, 08 Nov 2018
The pneumonia-causing bacteria, Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus), can be spread through nose picking and rubbing after exposure of the hands to the bacteria — in addition to the conventionally known route of inhalation of airborne droplets, a study reveals.