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News

Cesarean delivery may increase the risk of Crohn's disease

This month's issue of the Scandanavian Journal of Gastroenterology evaluates the association between cesarean delivery and risk of inflammatory bowel disease.

News image

It has been considered that cesarean delivery is a risk factor for the two subtypes of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Dr Weiming Zhu and colleagues from China performed a meta-analysis to examine the relationship between cesarean delivery and the development of IBD.

The research team searched the articles retrieved by PubMed, MEDLINE and EMBASE databases to identify observational studies regarding the relationship between cesarean section and the development of Crohn’s disease and/or ulcerative colitis.

Pooled odds ratios were calculated for each relationship.

There was a positive association between cesarean delivery and pediatric Crohn’s disease
Scandanavian Journal of Gastroenterology

The team identified 9 studies that evaluated the potential association between cesarean delivery and the development of IBD that met the inclusion criteria.

The pooled data from 6 included studies indicated cesarean delivery was a risk factor for Crohn’s disease.

The researchers observed a positive association between cesarean delivery and pediatric Crohn’s disease.

However, results from the 4 included studies for ulcerative colitis indicated the rate of cesarean section in ulcerative colitis patients was not higher than that of control subjects.

Overall, the team did not observe a positive relationship between cesarean delivery and IBD.

Dr Zhu's team concludes, "Results of this meta-analysis support the hypothesis that cesarean delivery was associated with the risk of Crohn’s disease but not of ulcerative colitis."

"The total rate of cesarean delivery of IBD patients was similar with that of control subjects."

Scand J Gastroenterol 2014: 49(7): 834-844 
23 July 2014

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