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Diabetes risk for Caesarean babies

26th August 2008

Research has shown that babies who are delivered by Caesarean section are one fifth more likely to develop type 1 diabetes than children delivered naturally.


A team from Queen's University Belfast looked at 20 previous studies, according to a report in the PubMed journal. The results suggested that "hospital bacteria" could be the cause for the 20% rise in the risk of diabetes. A baby's danger of diabetes is normally three in 1,000.

Other possible reasons for the rise in diabetes were considered, including a baby's weight at birth, if it was breastfed, how old the mother was and gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but were not found to affect the risk.

There are around 250,000 type 1 diabetes sufferers in the UK. People who have the condition need to inject themselves with insulin and monitor their blood sugar. On average, nearly one quarter (24%) of births are by Caesarean section in the UK.

Dr Chris Cardwell, from Queen's University Belfast, said: "This study shows a consistent 20% increase in the risk of diabetes. "He added that they still did not fully understand the reasons for the elevated risk and that it was "possible" that Caesarean sections were a factor because of hospital bacteria.

Dr Iain Frame, from Diabetes UK, said further studies were necessary."Not all women have the choice of whether to have a Caesarean or not, but those who do may wish to take this risk into consideration before choosing to give birth this way."


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Article Information

Title: Diabetes risk for Caesarean babies
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 7963
Date Added: 26th Aug 2008


BBC News

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