Caesareans linked to bronchiolitis

In a retrospective data linkage study of more than 212,000 non-Aboriginal babies in Western Australia, researchers from the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Perth, matched mode of delivery and hospitalisations for bronchiolitis in children younger than 12 months, and 12–23 months.

Sixteen per cent of children were delivered by elective caesarean, and these children had an 11% increased risk of admission to hospital for bronchiolitis compared to those delivered by vaginal birth, independent of other factors, the authors said.

Elective caesarean was associated with a 17% increased risk of multiple hospitalisations for bronchiolitis under the age of 12 months, compared to those delivered vaginally.

“While the increase is relatively modest, this is the first study to link elective caesareans to bronchiolitis,” lead author Dr Hannah Moore (PhD) said, adding more research was needed on the role of cytokines in labour.

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