Risk of Asthma from Cesarean Delivery Depends on Membrane Rupture

J Pediatr. 2016 Apr;171:38-42.e1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.12.066. Epub 2016 Jan 26.


Objective: To assess our prospective mother-child cohort and the national registry data to analyze the risk of asthma by delivery mode and whether cesarean delivery before or after membrane rupture affects this risk differently.

Study design: The Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood2000 is a high-risk birth cohort of 411 Danish children. Asthma was diagnosed prospectively by physicians at the research site, and associations with cesarean delivery were investigated using Cox proportional hazard models. From the Danish national prospective registry we included data from 1997-2010. Childhood asthma was defined from recurrent use of inhaled corticosteroids filled at pharmacies. Cesarean delivery was classified as either before or after rupture of membranes, and the risk of asthma was compared with vaginal delivery. Results were adjusted stepwise for age and calendar year, sex, birth weight, gestational age, multiple births, parity, and maternal factors (age, smoking/antibiotics during pregnancy, employment status, and asthma).

Results: In the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood2000 cohort, the adjusted hazard ratio for asthma was increased by cesarean delivery relative to vaginal birth 2.18 (1.27-3.73). Registry data replicated these findings. Cesarean delivery performed before rupture of membranes carried significantly higher risk of asthma, (incidence rate ratio to vaginal delivery 1.20 [1.16-1.23]) than cesarean delivery after rupture of membranes (incidence rate ratio to vaginal delivery 1.12 [1.09-1.16]).

Conclusions: We confirmed cesarean delivery to be a risk factor for childhood asthma. This effect was more pronounced for cesarean delivery performed before rupture of membranes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / diagnosis*
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Cesarean Section / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Mothers
  • Pregnancy
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors