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Babies born by Caesarian more susceptible to developing allergies

Researchers said they believe exposure to bacteria in the birth canal is a major influencer on a baby’s immune system.

Image: Child sneezing image via Shutterstock

BABIES BORN BY Caesarian section are more at risk of developing allergies by age two, according to new research by Henry Ford Hospital in the United States.

Researchers found that babies born by C-section are five times more likely to develop allergies than babies born naturally when exposed to high levels of common allergens in the home such as those from dogs, cats and dust mites.

Lead author of the study, Christine Cole Johnson, said this further advances the hypothesis that early childhood exposure to microorganisms affects the immune system’s development and onset of allergies.

“We believe a baby’s exposure to bacteria in the birth canal is a major influencer on their immune system,” she said.

Researchers enrolled 1,258 newborns from 2003-2007, and evaluated them at four age intervals – one month, six months, one year and two years.

Data was collected from the baby’s umbilical cord and stool, blood samples from the baby’s mother and father, breast milk and household dust, as well as family history of allergy or asthma, pregnancy variables, household pets, tobacco smoke exposure, baby illnesses and medication use.

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