Cesarean section and celiac disease

by | G+ Amy Leger

cesareansection-celiacNew research published in the Journal of Pediatrics Monday reported on a link between some immune responses in children who were delivered via cesarean section.

The report Cesarean Section and Chronic Immune Disorders  came out of Denmark.  It studied two million mature babies born by cesarean delivery  who “were analyzed for risk of hospital contact for chronic immune diseases recorded in the Danish national registries in the 35-year period 1977–2012,” the Pediatrics abstract said.

It found “Children delivered by cesarean delivery had significantly increased risk of asthma, systemic connective tissue disorders, juvenile arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, immune deficiencies, and leukemia. No associations were found between cesarean delivery and type 1 diabetes, psoriasis, or celiac disease.”

While the information on the increased risk  of immune responses was interesting and worth keeping in mind,  the last sentence saying there was no association between cesarean section and celiac disease I found particularly interesting. This goes against other recent studies in the last few years that have pointed to a connection between cesarean section and celiac disease in children.  The University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center website has more about those studies.

Clearly, with this current study, differing opinions on the topic are beginning to emerge.  Cesarean section delivery is the way doctors handle an emergency delivery and by all means should remain as an option, even with this discussion.

Back in 2010 when I first reported on the link between cesarean section and celiac disease in children, I quoted Peter Green, M. D. from Columbia University in New York City.  He was interviewed by HealthDay when this research first appeared (although the link to the original article is no longer valid).  At the time he said,

 “…the message to patients would be that the C-section, if it cannot be avoided, should make them more aware that there is an increased risk for celiac disease in the C-section-delivered children and it should make them more alert to look for signs and test earlier (and maybe more frequently).” — Dr. Peter Green

This is information for new moms to consider.  Maybe a discussion with with your OB/GYN or pediatrician is in order if this is a concern.


*Disclaimer:  I am not a trained medical professional.  Please discuss this topic with your doctor.

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2 Responses to “Cesarean section and celiac disease”

  1. Do you have a recommendation on how frequently kids should be tested? I have celiacs and have 2 children, now 8 and 10 that were both c-section babies. I had them both tested 3 years ago. I was thinking of doing it again now with their annual check ups.

    Unfortunately, I never had any signs of celiac disease, so I’m not confident they would show signs if they have it.

    Also, which test do you recommend?

    Thanks much.

  2. Jodi, My celiac daughter gets the blood test every year. My non-celiac daughter has been getting tested every 2-3 years. They do the traditional celiac blood panel: http://www.csaceliacs.org/diagnosis_of_celiac_disease.jsp This link has the main tests.

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