Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Caesarean babies more likely to become overweight as adults, analysis finds

Date:
February 26, 2014
Source:
Imperial College London
Summary:
Babies born by caesarean section are more likely to be overweight or obese as adults, according to a new analysis that is based on over 38,000 individuals. The odds of being overweight or obese are 26 per cent higher for adults born by caesarean section than those born by vaginal delivery, the study found. The authors say they cannot be certain that caesarean delivery causes higher body weight, as the association may be explained by other factors that weren't recorded in the data they analyzed, however, the results are interesting enough to encourage further study.

Babies born by caesarean section are more likely to be overweight or obese as adults, according to a new analysis.
Credit: Vivid Pixels / Fotolia

Babies born by caesarean section are more likely to be overweight or obese as adults, according to a new analysis. The odds of being overweight or obese are 26 per cent higher for adults born by caesarean section than those born by vaginal delivery, the study found (see footnote).

Related Articles


The finding, reported in the journal PLOS ONE, is based on combined data from 15 studies with over 38,000 participants.

The researchers, from Imperial College London, say there are good reasons why many women should have a C-section, but mothers choosing a caesarean should be aware that there might be long-term consequences for their children.

Around one in three to four births in England are by caesarean section, around twice as many as in 1990. In some countries, the rate is much higher, with 60 per cent of mothers in China and almost half in Brazil having the procedure.

Some previous studies have suggested that the odds of other adverse long-term outcomes, such asthma and type-1 diabetes in childhood, are also higher in babies born by caesarean.

The new study, which includes data from 10 countries, found that the average BMI of adults born by caesarean section is around half a unit more than those born by vaginal delivery. It is the largest to show a link between caesarean delivery and BMI in adulthood.

The authors say they cannot be certain that caesarean delivery causes higher body weight, as the association may be explained by other factors that weren't recorded in the data they analyzed.

Professor Neena Modi from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London, the report's senior author, said: "There are good reasons why C-section may be the best option for many mothers and their babies, and C-sections can on occasion be life-saving. However, we need to understand the long-term outcomes in order to provide the best advice to women who are considering caesarean delivery.

"This study shows that babies born by C-section are more likely to be overweight or obese later in life. We now need to determine whether this is the result of the C-section, or if other reasons explain the association."

Dr Matthew Hyde, one of the researchers, said: "There are plausible mechanisms by which caesarean delivery might influence later body weight. The types of healthy bacteria in the gut differ in babies born by caesarean and vaginal delivery, which can have broad effects on health. Also, the compression of the baby during vaginal birth appears to influence which genes are switched on, and this could have a long-term effect on metabolism."

Footnote

The analysis found that the odds of being overweight or obese are 26 per cent higher for babies born by caesarean section. This does not mean they have a 26 per cent higher risk of being overweight.

The odds of being overweight are calculated for a group by dividing the number of people in the group who are overweight by the number that are not overweight. This is different to the risk of being overweight, which is the number that are overweight divided by the total number of people in the group.

The relative risk of being overweight for babies born by caesarean section was not calculated in this study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Imperial College London. The original article was written by Sam Wong. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Karthik Darmasseelane, Matthew J. Hyde, Shalini Santhakumaran, Chris Gale, Neena Modi. Mode of Delivery and Offspring Body Mass Index, Overweight and Obesity in Adult Life: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (2): e87896 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087896

Cite This Page:

Imperial College London. "Caesarean babies more likely to become overweight as adults, analysis finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226174453.htm>.
Imperial College London. (2014, February 26). Caesarean babies more likely to become overweight as adults, analysis finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226174453.htm
Imperial College London. "Caesarean babies more likely to become overweight as adults, analysis finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226174453.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Bupa is hoping to expand in India&apos;s fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group&apos;s CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it&apos;s so keen on the new opportunity. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Mobile apps are turning smartphones into a personal doctors, with users able to measure heart rate, blood pressure and even blood sugar. But will it change our behaviour? Ivor Bennett reports from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) AbbVie announced Wednesday it will buy cancer drugmaker Pharmacyclics in a $21 billion deal. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toddlers Drinking Coffee? Why You Shouldn't Share Your Joe

Toddlers Drinking Coffee? Why You Shouldn't Share Your Joe

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) A survey of Boston mothers and toddlers found that 15 percent of two-year-olds drink coffee and 2.5 percent of 1-year-olds. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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