Elective caesarean linked to coeliac

A STUDY examining the association of coeliac disease and caesarean section suggests there is an added risk from elective, but not emergency, procedures.

Being born by elective caesarean was associated with a 15% added risk of later developing coeliac disease, according to the largest study to date on the controversial theory.

The Swedish case-control study involving records of more than 65,000 individuals found babies delivered via emergency caesarean had a similar risk to those delivered vaginally, in line with the idea that prior contact with the birth canal was protective, the authors said.

“We found a modest but statistically significant excess risk for coeliac disease after elective, but not emergency, caesarean delivery,” the researchers wrote.

The finding was consistent with the hypothesis that exposure to a mother’s flora in the birth canal played an important role in the healthy bacterial colonisation of newborns