Both elective and emergency caesarean delivery could increase the risk of food allergy in offspring, while preterm birth before 32 weeks gestation could decrease the risk, suggests new research.
As part of a new study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers examined data on 1,086,378 children born in Sweden in 2001-2012 to explore the association between caesarean delivery, preterm birth, low birth weight, small for gestational age, large for gestational age (LGA), and low Apgar score (
They found that caesarean delivery was associated with around a 20 per cent higher risk of food allergy compared with vaginal delivery. The authors said this positive association strengthens the theory that exposure to vaginal microflora might reduce the risk of offspring atopic manifestation. The risk of future food allergy also increased in infants born at LGA and in those with a low Apgar score.
Surprisingly, very preterm birth (