Children born by cesarean section may have a greater risk of obesity

November 14, 2016, American Heart Association

Children delivered by Cesarean section may have an increased risk for obesity compared to children born vaginally, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2016.

Compared to vaginally-delivered children, Cesarean-delivered children had 40 percent greater odds of becoming overweight or obese in childhood. This association was even greater if their mother was overweight or obese, suggesting that among vaginal delivery may help reduce the intergenerational association of obesity.

This finding held even after accounting for the mother's age at the time of delivery, race, education, pre-pregnancy body mass index, pregnancy weight gain, , and the child's birth weight.

The researchers noted that having an overweight mother is often associated with overweight or , regardless of how the child is born, but the effect was stronger among women who delivered via Cesarean section.

"We think that the reason for the difference may be due to the beneficial microbes found in the birth canal that newborns are exposed to during a vaginal birth," said lead study author Noel Mueller, Ph.D., M.PH., an assistant professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University. "We suspect that these microbes may benefit a child's health, including enhancing metabolism and training the immune system."

"We need more studies to determine whether exposing Cesarean-delivered newborns to vaginal microbes at birth can reduce their future risk of metabolic disorders such as obesity."

Researchers analyzed data on 1,441 full-term deliveries from the Boston Birth Cohort. Among the study group, 57 percent of the women who gave birth by Cesarean were obese, and 53 percent of those who delivered vaginally were obese. Children ranged from ages two to eight at the time of outcome measurement.

Explore further: Cesarean delivery may lead to increased risk of obesity among offspring

Related Stories

Cesarean delivery may lead to increased risk of obesity among offspring

September 6, 2016
Individuals born by cesarean delivery were 15% more likely to become obese as children than individuals born by vaginal birth—and the increased risk may persist through adulthood, according to a large new study from Harvard ...

Indigenous group add to evidence tying cesarean birth to obesity

October 12, 2016
A Purdue University study of an indigenous group of Maya people reinforces the link between Cesarean births and obesity.

Women who undergo weight-loss operations have a lower risk for cesarean section later on

October 18, 2016
Obesity during pregnancy puts women at higher risk for complications and can compromise the newborn's health. But obese women who undergo weight-loss (bariatric) operations before getting pregnant significantly lower their ...

Increased risk of developing asthma by age of 3 after cesarean section

January 10, 2012
A new study supports previous findings that children delivered by cesarean section have an increased risk of developing asthma. The study from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) suggests that children delivered ...

Ultrasound can read weight of fetuses with FGR in obese moms

December 17, 2015
(HealthDay)—Sonographic (US) examination can accurately estimate fetal weight, even in overweight and obese women with singleton pregnancies affected by fetal growth restriction (FGR), according to research published in ...

Obstetricians encourage natural childbirth to remove risks with c-section surgeries

September 5, 2016
Though the myth "once a cesarean-section, always a cesarean-section" was shattered years ago, rates of United States births involving the surgical procedure have not diminished significantly.

Recommended for you

Transgender women can breastfeed, first case study shows

February 16, 2018
The first scientific case study has been published describing how a US transgender woman was able to breastfeed her adopted infant by taking hormones that induce lactation.

PFASs, chemicals commonly found in environment, may interfere with body weight regulation

February 13, 2018
A class of chemicals used in many industrial and consumer products was linked with greater weight gain after dieting, particularly among women, according to a study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The chemicals—perfluoroalkyl ...

Controversial pregnancy test drug shows deformities in zebrafish embryos within hours of exposure

February 13, 2018
The components of a controversial drug, allegedly linked to birth defects in the 1960s and '70s, caused deformations to fish embryos just hours after they received a dose in new studies by researchers at the University of ...

Study shows benefits of exercise can outweigh health effects of severe obesity

February 12, 2018
Can you be fit and healthy even if you're overweight? That's the question researchers at York University's Faculty of Health set out to answer in a new study that shows physical activity may be equally and perhaps even more ...

Direct link between glands and implanting embryos critical to pregnancy

February 9, 2018
Researchers used 3D imaging with molecular testing to uncover new insight into the earliest stages of mammalian pregnancy—offering clues to unsolved questions in pregnancy.

Lab-grown eggs could pave way towards new fertility treatments

February 8, 2018
Human eggs have been fully grown in a laboratory, in a move that could lead to improved fertility treatments.

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.