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Cesarean Delivery and the Risk of Allergic Rhinitis in Children

Cesarean delivery (C-section) may influence the infant microbiome and affect immune system development and subsequent risk for allergic rhinitis (AR). To investigate the association between C-section and AR at ages 6, 8, and 10 years. Data were collected prospectively through Kaiser Permanente Northern Californias (KPNC) integrated healthcare system. Children were eligible if they were born in a KPNC hospital and remained in the KPNC system for minimum 6 years (n = 117,768 age 6; n = 75,115 age 8; n = 40,332 age 10). Risk ratios (RR) for C-section and AR were estimated at each follow-up age and adjusted for important covariates, including intrapartum antibiotics, pre-pregnancy body mass index, maternal allergic morbidities, and breastfeeding. Subanalyses considered information on C-section indication, labor, and membrane rupture. After adjusting for confounders, we did not observe an association between C-section and AR at follow-up ages 6, 8, or 10 years (RR [CI]: 6 years, 0.98 [0.91, 1.04]; 8 years, 1.00 [0.95, 1.07]; 10 years, 1.03 [0.96, 1.10]). In stratified analyses, there was limited evidence that C-section increases the risk of AR in certain subgroups (eg, children of non-atopic mothers, second or higher birth order children), but most estimated risk ratios were consistent with no association. Estimated associations were unaffected by participant attrition, missing data, or intrapartum antibiotics. C-section delivery was not associated with AR at follow-up ages of 6, 8, or 10 years in a large contemporary US cohort.

Authors: Richards M; Ferber J; Li DK; Darrow LA

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2020 09;125(3):280-286.e5. Epub 2020-05-06.

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