Mode of delivery at birth and development of asthma: A population-based cohort study

Young J. Juhn, Amy Weaver, Slavica Katusic, John Yunginger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: To test the hygiene hypothesis, previous studies have assessed the relationship between mode of delivery at birth and asthma incidence, but the results have been inconsistent because of potential selection and ascertainment biases. Objective: To assess the relationship between mode of delivery at birth and asthma by following all children born in Rochester, Minn, between 1976 and 1982. Methods: From the birth certificate, we determined mode of delivery (cesarean section vs vaginal delivery). Asthma status during the first 7 years of life was ascertained from comprehensive medical record reviews. The association between mode of delivery and asthma status was evaluated in a proportional hazards model adjusted for sex, birth weight, maternal education, and maternal age. Results: The cumulative incidence rates of asthma among children who were born by cesarean section and vaginal delivery were 3.2% versus 2.6%, 4.6% versus 4.6%, 4.6% versus 5.8%, and 5.7% versus 6.7% at the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th years of life, respectively. The adjusted hazard ratios for cesarean section in predicting asthma and wheezing episode were 0.93 (95% CI, 0.6-1.4; P = .71) and 0.93 (95% CI, 0.7-1.3; P = .67), respectively. Conclusion: Mode of delivery is not associated with subsequent risk of developing childhood asthma or wheezing episodes. Because the effect of mode of delivery on a risk of developing asthma or wheezing episodes varies over time (ie, age), selection of the study subjects according to their ages may have influenced the findings of previous studies with a shorter follow-up period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-516
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Volume116
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005

Keywords

  • Birth cohort
  • Cesarean section
  • Childhood asthma
  • Mode of delivery
  • Wheezing episode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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