Cesarean section and risk of allergies in Ecuadorian children: A cross-sectional study

Amélie Gorris, Gabriela Bustamante, Katharina A. Mayer, Tamar Kinaciyan, Gerhard J. Zlabinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Studies have shown an association between cesarean section (CS) and increased prevalence of childhood allergic diseases. While these observations have been consistent in industrialized countries, evidence from developing countries is limited. Objective: To assess the association between the mode of delivery and allergic diseases in children aged 3–12 years in Quito, Ecuador. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, parents were surveyed using an anonymous, standardized questionnaire from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood project to assess the presence of asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, and food allergies in their children. The children's age, sex, birthplace, delivery mode (CS/vaginal), socioeconomic status, and ethnicity were recorded. Other parameters included gestational age, breastfeeding, smoking status during pregnancy, and parental allergic diseases. Results: After adjusting for confounding factors, children delivered via CS were found to have a higher risk of wheezing (odds ratio [OR] = 4.12, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.43–11.89), physician-diagnosed asthma (OR = 24.06; 95% CI: 1.98–292.3), and pimples, or eczema with the itching for 6 months (OR = 2.65; 95% CI: 1.06–6.61) than children delivered vaginally. No association was found between the delivery mode and rhinitis or food allergies. After stratifying by socioeconomic status, CS was only associated with allergic disorders in children of medium/high socioeconomic backgrounds. Conclusions: As seen in industrialized settings, children born by CS in nonindustrialized countries have an increased risk of developing allergic disorders including asthma and dermatitis, compared to those delivered vaginally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-773
Number of pages11
JournalImmunity, Inflammation and Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • asthma
  • atopic dermatitis
  • environment and hygiene hypothesis
  • food allergy
  • rhinitis


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