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Cesarean Section Not Linked to Obesity in Offspring

No evidence found for young adulthood obesity of offspring born via nonelective, elective C-section

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There is no association between elective or nonelective cesarean section with obesity in young adulthood, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in PLOS Medicine.

Viktor H. Ahlqvist, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues examined the correlation between differentiated forms of delivery with cesarean section and risk for obesity in young adulthood. A cohort of 97,291 men born between 1982 and 1987 were followed from birth until conscription. Weight and height were measured at conscription (median, 18 years of age).

The researchers found that 4.9 percent of the men were obese (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m² or higher) at conscription. There was slight variation in the prevalence of obesity between vaginal delivery, elective cesarean section, and nonelective cesarean section (4.9, 5.5, and 5.6 percent, respectively). Across modes of delivery, BMI seemed to be consistent. Compared with vaginal delivery, neither nonelective nor elective cesarean sections were found to be associated with young adulthood obesity (relative risk ratio, 0.96; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.83 to 1.10; relative risk ratio, 1.02; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.88 to 1.18, respectively) after adjustment for potentially confounding variables. Compared with vaginal delivery, there was also no evidence of an association between any form of cesarean section and overweight (BMI of 25 kg/m² or higher).

"Heritability and fetal exposure to obese-causing factors in the womb are more important when assessing the risk of obesity in the offspring than the mode of delivery," Ahlqvist said in a statement.

Abstract/Full Text

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