Cesarean Delivery, Overweight throughout Childhood, and Blood Pressure in Adolescence
To investigate whether children delivered by cesarean had a higher risk of being overweight from early until late childhood and whether they had a higher blood pressure in adolescence compared with children delivered vaginally.
We used data from a Dutch birth cohort study with prenatal inclusion in 1996 and 1997. Mode of delivery (cesarean or vaginal delivery) was ascertained at 3 months after birth by questionnaire. During clinical examinations, height and weight (at age 4, 8, 12, and 16 years) and blood pressure (at age 12 and 16 years) were measured. We used mixed model analysis to estimate associations of cesarean delivery with overweight and blood pressure z scores in 2641 children who participated in at least 1 of the 4 examinations.
Children born by cesarean delivery (n = 236, 8.9%) had a 1.52 (95% CI 1.18, 1.96) higher odds of being overweight throughout childhood than children delivered vaginally. Children born by cesarean delivery had no higher systolic blood pressure z-score (0.11 SD, 95% CI −0.04, 0.26), nor a different diastolic blood pressure z-score (−0.00 SD, 95% CI −0.10, 0.09) in adolescence than children delivered vaginally.
Compared with children delivered vaginally, children delivered by cesarean had a 52% higher risk of being overweight throughout childhood, but this was not accompanied by a higher blood pressure in adolescence.
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