Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Caesarean section delivery may double risk of childhood obesity: May be due to different gut bacteria

Date:
May 23, 2012
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Caesarean section delivery may double the risk of subsequent childhood obesity, finds new research.

Caesarean section delivery may double the risk of subsequent childhood obesity, finds research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Caesarean section delivery has already been linked to an increased risk of subsequent childhood asthma and allergic rhinitis, and around one in three babies born in the US is delivered this way.

The authors base their findings on 1255 mother and child pairs, who attended eight outpatient maternity services in eastern Massachusetts, USA between 1999 and 2002.

The mums joined the study before 22 weeks of pregnancy, and their babies were measured and weighed at birth, at six months, and then at the age of three, when the child's skinfold thickness, a measure of body fat, was also assessed.

Out of the 1255 deliveries, around one in four (22.6%; 284) were by caesarean section, and the remainder (77.4%; 971) were vaginal deliveries.

Mums who delivered by c-section tended to weigh more than those delivering vaginally, and the birthweight for gestational age of their babies also tended to be higher. These mums also breastfed their babies for a shorter period.

But irrespective of birth weight, and after taking account of maternal weight (BMI) and several other influential factors, a caesarean section delivery was associated with a doubling in the odds of obesity by the time the child was 3 years old.

Just under 16% of children delivered via c-section were obese by the age of 3 compared with 7.5% of those born vaginally.

Children delivered by c-section also had higher BMI and skinfold thickness measurements by the age of 3.

The researchers speculate that one possible explanation for their findings is the difference in the composition of gut bacteria acquired at birth between the two delivery methods.

They highlight previous research showing that children born by c-section have higher numbers of Firmicutes bacteria and lower numbers of Bacteroides bacteria in their guts. These two groups make up the bulk of gut flora.

Other research has also suggested that obese people have higher levels of Firmicutes bacteria.

It may be that gut bacteria influence the development of obesity by increasing energy extracted from the diet, and by stimulating cells to boost insulin resistance, inflammation, and fat deposits, say the authors.

"An association between caesarean birth and increased risk of childhood obesity would provide an important rationale to avoid non-medically indicated caesarean section," write the authors.

Mums who choose this delivery option should be made aware of the potential health risks to her baby, including the possibility of obesity, they say.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Susanna Y Huh, Sheryl L Rifas-Shiman, Chloe A Zera, Janet W Rich Edwards, Emily Oken, Scott T Weiss, Matthew W Gillman. Delivery by caesarean section and risk of obesity in preschool age children: a prospective cohort study. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 23 May 2012 DOI: 10.1136/archdischild-2011-301141

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Caesarean section delivery may double risk of childhood obesity: May be due to different gut bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120523200749.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2012, May 23). Caesarean section delivery may double risk of childhood obesity: May be due to different gut bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120523200749.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Caesarean section delivery may double risk of childhood obesity: May be due to different gut bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120523200749.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins