Children born via cesarean section may be more likely to be hospitalized for infection during early childhood. A study published in PLOS Medicine by Jessica Miller at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Australia and colleagues suggests that compared to vaginally-born children, cesarean-born children may have a higher risk of infection-related hospitalization for up to five years of age.
The global proportion of cesarean section births has nearly doubled since 2000, yet the relationship between mode of birth and common childhood infections beyond the neonatal period is not well understood. To assess the association between mode of birth and infection-related hospitalization, researchers analyzed hospital data of 7,174,787 singleton children in Denmark, Scotland, England, and Australia born between January 1, 1996 and December 31, 2015. Children born during this period were followed from their birth-related hospital discharge date until an infection-related hospitalization, death, emigration, 5th birthday, or end of the study period.