Cesarean Section Tied to Lower Graduation Rates in Offspring

However, differences in school performance and intelligence scores were very small

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MONDAY, March 27, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Chances of graduating from lower and upper secondary education are significantly lower for children born by cesarean section (CS), according to a study published online March 22 in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.

Agnes K. Ladelund, from Herlev and Gentofte Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues investigated the association between delivery by CS (elective and acute) and school performance and intelligence in youth. The analysis included 1.4 million Danish live-born children (1978 to 2000).

The researchers found that the odds of graduating from lower (LSE) and upper (USE) secondary education and of attending conscription were significantly lower in the CS group (LSE graduation: adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.87; USE graduation: aOR, 0.93; and attending conscription: aOR, 0.95). Furthermore, significantly lower grade point averages (GPA) in LSE were seen with CS (adjusted differences in mean total GPA of −0.090), as were lower mean core subject GPA (−0.098). For USE, the total GPA difference was −0.091, and CS was associated with lower mean intelligence scores of −0.36 in adjusted linear models. Lower chances of graduating LSE and USE where seen for children born by acute rather than elective CS.

"Our results showed that children delivered by CS had lower chances of graduating from LSE and USE and of attending conscription," the authors write. "However, even significant differences in mean GPAs and intelligence scores were very small, so performances when graduating school and attending conscription were comparable regardless of delivery mode."

Abstract/Full Text

Lori Solomon

Lori Solomon

Medically reviewed by Mark Arredondo, M.D.

Published on March 27, 2023

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