advertisement
25 February 2013

C-section babies at risk of developing allergies

Researchers found that babies born by C-section are five times more likely to develop allergies than babies born naturally.

2
 For expectant moms who may contemplate the pros and cons of natural child birth or Caesarean section, a Henry Ford Hospital study suggests that C-section babies are susceptible to developing allergies by age two.

Researchers found that babies born by C-section are five times more likely to develop allergies than babies born naturally when exposed to high levels of common allergens in the home such as those from dogs, cats and dust mites.

Early exposure is key

"This further advances the hygiene hypothesis that early childhood exposure to microorganisms affects the immune system's development and onset of allergies," says Christine Cole Johnson, Ph.D., MPH, chair of Henry Ford Department of Health Sciences and the study's lead author. "We believe a baby's exposure to bacteria in the birth canal is a major influencer on their immune system."

Dr. Johnson says C-section babies have a pattern of "at risk" microorganisms in their gastrointestinal tract that may make them more susceptible to developing the antibody Immunoglobulin E, or IgE, when exposed to allergens. IgE is linked to the development of allergies and asthma.

For its study Henry Ford researchers sought to evaluate the role of early exposure to allergens and how this exposure affects the association between C-section and the development of IgE.

Researchers enrolled 1,258 newborns from 2003-2007, and evaluated them at four age intervals – one month, six months, one year and two years. Data was collected from the baby's umbilical cord and stool, blood samples from the baby's mother and father, breast milk and household dust, as well as family history of allergy or asthma, pregnancy variables, household pets, tobacco smoke exposure, baby illnesses and medication use.

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
2 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Contraceptives and you »

Scientists create new contraceptive from seaweed Poor long-term birth control training leads to 'accidents'

7 birth control myths you should stop believing

Will the Pill make you gain weight? Can you fall pregnant while breastfeeding? We bust seven common myths about birth control.

Your digestive health »

Causes of digestive disorders 9 habits that could hurt your digestive system

Your tummy rumblings might help diagnose bowel disorder

With the assistance of an 'acoustic belt', doctors can now determine the cause of your tummy troubles.