Babies born by C-section at risk of developing allergies, research says

February 24, 2013

For expectant moms who may contemplate the pros and cons of natural child birth or Caesarian section, a Henry Ford Hospital study suggests that C-section babies are susceptible to developing allergies by age two.

Researchers found that babies born by C-section are five times more likely to develop allergies than babies born naturally when exposed to high levels of common allergens in the home such as those from dogs, cats and .

The study is being presented Sunday at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting in San Antonio.

"This further advances the that early childhood exposure to microorganisms affects the immune system's development and onset of allergies," says Christine Cole Johnson, Ph.D., MPH, chair of Henry Ford Department of Health Sciences and the study's lead author. "We believe a baby's exposure to bacteria in the is a major influencer on their immune system."

Dr. Johnson says C-section babies have a pattern of "at risk" microorganisms in their that may make them more susceptible to developing the antibody Immunoglobulin E, or IgE, when exposed to allergens. IgE is linked to the development of allergies and asthma.

For its study Henry Ford researchers sought to evaluate the role of early exposure to allergens and how this exposure affects the association between C-section and the development of IgE.

Researchers enrolled 1,258 newborns from 2003-2007, and evaluated them at four age intervals – one month, six months, one year and two years. Data was collected from the baby's umbilical cord and stool, blood samples from the baby's mother and father, breast milk and household dust, as well as family history of allergy or asthma, pregnancy variables, household pets, , baby illnesses and medication use.

Explore further: Prenatal pet exposure, delivery mode, race are key factors in early allergy risk

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Team finds early inflammatory response paralyzes T cells

August 18, 2015

In a discovery that is likely to rewrite immunology text books, researchers at UC Davis have found that early exposure to inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 2, can "paralyze" CD4 T cells, immune components that help ...

SIV shrugs off antibodies in vaccinated monkeys

August 11, 2015

New research on monkeys vaccinated against HIV's relative SIV calls into question an idea that has driven AIDS vaccine work for years. The assumption: a protective vaccine only needs to stimulate moderate levels of antibodies ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.