Delivery by caesarean section and risk of obesity in preschool age children: A prospective cohort study

Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Children's Hospital Boston, 300 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Archives of Disease in Childhood (Impact Factor: 2.9). 05/2012; 97(7):610-6. DOI: 10.1136/archdischild-2011-301141
Source: PubMed


To examine whether delivery by caesarean section is a risk factor for childhood obesity.
Prospective prebirth cohort study (Project Viva).
Eight outpatient multi-specialty practices based in the Boston, Massachusetts area.
We recruited women during early pregnancy between 1999 and 2002, and followed their children after birth. We included 1255 children with body composition measured at 3 years of age.
BMI score, obesity (BMI for age and sex ≥95th percentile), and sum of triceps plus subscapular skinfold thicknesses at 3 years of age.
284 children (22.6%) were delivered by caesarean section. At age 3, 15.7% of children delivered by caesarean section were obese compared with 7.5% of children born vaginally. In multivariable logistic and linear regression models adjusting for maternal prepregnancy BMI, birth weight, and other covariates, birth by caesarean section was associated with a higher odds of obesity at age 3 (OR 2.10, 95% CI 1.36 to 3.23), higher mean BMI z-score (0.20 units, 95% CI 0.07 to 0.33), and higher sum of triceps plus subscapular skinfold thicknesses (0.94 mm, 95% CI 0.36 to 1.51).
Infants delivered by caesarean section may be at increased risk of childhood obesity. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings and to explore mechanisms underlying this association.

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    • "A potential microbial basis for obesity can be inferred from the fundamental role of the microbiota in supporting host digestion and metabolism (Grenham et al., 2011). There are indications that caesarean-section delivery influences adiposity and might be linked to an increased risk for obesity as determined by body mass index, both in childhood and in adults (Goldani et al., 2011, Huh et al., 2012, Mesquita et al., 2013). Although an altered microbiota could precede the development of obesity, a causal relationship is still far from certain (Clarke et al., 2014a). "
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    • "D'ailleurs, certains praticiens préconisent un ensemencement du tube digestif du nouveau-né dès la naissance avec le microbiote de la mère pour les enfants nés par césarienne car on connaît les différences très importantes dans leur microbiote en comparaison d'enfants nés par voie naturelle [27]. Certaines publications ont relevé des conséquences possibles néfastes en termes de santé [28]. Le transfert de microbiote apparaît ainsi être un médicament dont on pressent le potentiel dans nombre d'indications. "
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    • "In contrast, we analysed BMI as a continuous variable and found that mean values were higher among those subjects born by caesarean section. Two other studies have also reported that mean body mass index was higher among subjects who were born by caesarean section [16,17]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Conflicting findings on the risk of obesity among subjects born by caesarean section have been published. Caesarean section should also increase the risk of obesity related cardiovascular risk factors if type of delivery is associated with obesity later in life. This study was aimed at assessing the effect of type of delivery on metabolic cardiovascular risk factors in early adulthood. In 1982, maternity hospitals in Pelotas, southern Brazil, were visited and those livebirths whose family lived in the urban area of the city have been followed. In 2000, when male subjects undertook the Army entrance examination (n=2200), fat mass and fat free mass were estimated through bioimpedance. In 2004-2005, we attempted to follow the whole cohort (n=4297), and the following outcomes were studied: blood pressure; HDL cholesterol; triglycerides; random blood glucose, C-reactive protein, waist circumference and body mass index. The estimates were adjusted for the following confounders: family income at birth; maternal schooling; household assets index in childhood; maternal skin color; birth order; maternal age; maternal prepregnancy weight; maternal height; maternal smoking during pregnancy; birthweight and family income at early adulthood. In the crude analyses, blood pressure (systolic, diastolic and mean arterial pressure) and body mass index were higher among subjects who were delivered through caesarean section. After controlling for confounders, systolic blood pressure was 1.15 mmHg (95% confidence interval: 0.05; 2.25) higher among subjects delivered by caesarean section, and BMI 0.40 kg/m(2) (95% confidence interval: 0.08; 0.71). After controlling for BMI the effect on systolic blood pressure dropped to 0.60 mmHg (95% confidence interval: -0.47; 1.67). Fat mass at 18 years of age was also higher among subjects born by caesarean section. Caesarean section was associated with a small increased in systolic blood pressure, body mass index and fat mass.
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