Objective: To examine the association of cesarean section (C-section) with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk biomarkers among Australian children.
Methods: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) birth cohort was prospectively followed for body mass index (BMI) trajectory, and then linked with CVD risk indicators of children; waist circumference (WC), systolic blood pressure (SBP), blood glucose, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), triglyceride (TG), fat mass index (FMI) and composite metabolic syndrome (CMetS) score. Multivariable linear regression analysis was done to assess the association of C-sections with CVD risk biomarkers.
Results: Of 1,874 study children, 30% had C-sections; the mean age (SD) was 11.50 (0.50) years, and 49% were female. Against the vaginally-born cohort, Caesarean-born children showed a higher Z- score for five of the seven CVD risk indicators in regression analysis; WC (0.15; p=0.003), SBP (0.16; p=0.003), inverse HDL (0.15; p=0.003), FMI (0.12; p=0.004), and CMetS (0.45; p=0.004) score. Children with accelerated BMI trajectory had higher CMetS scores for both the delivery types while the C-section cohort showed statistical association only (1.69; p=0.006)
Conclusion: C-section was independently associated with increased CVD risk profiles of children, further increased with high BMI trajectory.
Implication for public health: The chronic disease risk of C-sections should be discussed with families to reduce clinically unrequired C-sections.