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Warning about diabetes link to C-sections

Author John Thompson
Submitted 30-08-2008

Any father with a pregnant wife who is planning a Caesarean section has probably already looked into the pros and cons of the procedure, but scientists are now suggesting the risk of diabetes should also be considered.

A study at Queen’s University Belfast found that babies who are delivered by C-section are at a 20 percent increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

To arrive at this figure, the researchers analyzed the findings of 20 published studies from around that world, controlling for factors such as birth weight, the mother’s age and breastfeeding.

Dr Chris Cardwell, who led the study, said that the link they discovered between diabetes and C-sections is "still not understood."

"It is possible that children born by Caesarean section differ from other children with respect to some unknown characteristic which consequently increases their risk of diabetes, but it is also possible that the Caesarean section itself is responsible," he commented.

Some 31.1 percent of American babies were delivered by C-section in 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.