A new study has found that babies delivered by caesarean section were more likely to develop asthma by the age of three than children delivered naturally.
The Norwegian study analysed data from 37,000 people to explore the relationship between delivery method and the development of respiratory tract infection, wheezing and asthma.
The findings showed that babies born by caesarean had a slightly increased risk of developing asthma. The risk was found to be higher for children born of mothers without allergies or asthma. However, there was no increased risk of developing lower respiratory tract infections.
The researchers suggest caesarean delivery affects the bacteria in the babies’ intestine and affects their immune system, increasing the risk of developing asthma. Babies born by caesarean are already known to have an increased risk of serious respiratory problems during the first weeks of life. More research is needed to explore the connection between caesarean and the development of asthma in children under three.