Possible link between C-section and autism, ADHD

Possible link between C-section and autism, ADHD (reuters.com)

The combined results of 61 studies conducted in 19 countries suggest that when a woman gives birth by cesarean section, autism in the child is 33% more likely and the odds of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increase by 17%.

[Reuters, 8/28/19]  The statistical analysis, published in JAMA Network Open, does not prove that having a C-section directly causes such problems. Other factors that lead doctors to order a surgical delivery of the baby may underlie the link.

The researchers collected studies covering more than 20 million deliveries dating back to 1999, to create a large pool of data to assess risks associated with cesarean delivery that may not be evident in the smaller individual studies.

When the team, led by Tianyang Zhang of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, assessed autism spectrum disorder, they looked at 29 study populations, 17 of which showed an increased risk that was large enough to be statistically meaningful.

Among the babies of women who had vaginal deliveries, for example, the autism rate was 0.8%, according to data provided in the paper. A 33% increase would put the rate in the cesarean group at 1.0%.

For ADHD, Zhang’s group assessed 14 study populations, only 5 of which showed a statistically significant risk with C-section, but those studies tended to be the largest so they carried more weight.

Babies born through vaginal delivery had an ADHD rate of 2.4%. A 17% increase in the C-section group would raise the rate by 0.4 percentage points, to 2.8%.

The impact of this is not going to be great because the increase is still pretty low,” said Dr. Pankhuree Vandana, a pediatric psychiatrist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, who was not involved in the research…….


Read the Full Article at: Reuters

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