Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Yet Another Reason to Avoid a Cesarean Section

Cesarean Section Linked to 20% Greater Risk of Type I Diabetes

A new meta-analysis that examined 20 studies with over 1 million infants born vaginally and over 10,000 delivered via c-section found a 20% increase in the incidence of Type I Diabetes in those babies delivered via c-section.

After eliminating confounding factors of gestational age, birth weight, maternal age, birth order, breast-feeding and maternal diabetes, the researchers found that the 20% increase in Type I Diabetes could not be explained by any of these factors.

They theorized that the c-section itself could be to blame:

It is possible that children born by Caesarean section differ from other children with respect to some unknown characteristic which consequently increases their risk of diabetes, but it is also possible that Caesarean section itself is responsible," said author Dr. Chris Cardwell.

The author also stated:

"It's important to stress the reason for this is not understood, although it is possible the Caesarean itself is responsible, perhaps because babies are exposed to bacteria originating from the hospital environment rather than to maternal bacteria."

He offers some sage advice in conclusion:

"Not all women have the choice of whether to have a Caesarean or not, but those who do may wish to take this risk into consideration before choosing to give birth this way."

I have to wonder how prevalent Type I Diabetes will become if the current c-section epidemic isn't remedied. We'll soon have a generation of insulin-dependent mothers who require more high-risk maternity care with increased risk of c-section, having babies with increased risk of developing Type I Diabetes, and so on and so forth.

A scary thought, indeed.


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