The Association of Mode of Delivery and Common Childhood Illnesses

Georgetown University, School of Medicine, Washington, DC, USA.
Clinical Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 1.15). 06/2011; 50(11):1024-30. DOI: 10.1177/0009922811410875
Source: PubMed


Participants enrolled in a randomized control trial (RCT) were eligible for this cross-sectional study to determine if children born via cesarean (C)-section had higher rates of common infectious diseases and change in normal daily activities due to illness than children born vaginally. The RCT collected parent-reported health information and mode of delivery was assessed during follow-up calls. Parent-reported rates of infectious sequelae and changes in daily activities were compared between C-section and vaginally delivered children. In total, 72.4% of the 522 children were delivered vaginally. After accounting for age, siblings, breast-feeding as an infant, and clustering within families, C-section delivered children had significantly higher rates of cumulative infectious diseases, lower respiratory tract infections, and cough than vaginally born children. Mode of delivery appears to have some lasting effect on child health 3 to 6 years after birth, specifically respiratory health. Further research is imperative to elucidate the causative effect of mode of delivery on child health.

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