Conception via in vitro fertilization and delivery by Caesarean section are associated with paediatric asthma incidence
Background: The association between perinatal factors and asthma inception is under rigorous investigation. Nevertheless, evidence of a correlation between asthma, conception via in vitro fertilization (IVF) and delivery through cesarean section (c-section) is inconclusive. Objective: We aimed to assess the relation of asthma incidence with IVF and C-section, after controlling for several potential confounding factors. Methods: Parent-reported wheeze in the last 12 months (current), wheeze ever, physician-diagnosed asthma, method of conception and type of delivery were recorded from questionnaires filled in by the parents of 2016 Greek children aged 9−13, (the Healthy Growth Study Population). Some perinatal data was recorded from children's medical records and others were reported by parents; anthropometric measurements were also conducted in children. Results: IVF was correlated with physician-diagnosed asthma (OR=2.25; 95%CI=1.11−4.56) but not with current/ever wheeze after adjustment for potential confounding factors. After adjustment, C-section was also associated with asthma (OR=1.39; 95% CI=1.04−1.87), but not with current/ever wheeze. When the association of both IVF and C-section with asthma was examined in the same multivariate logistic regression model, it was weakened to borderline significance (OR=2.04; 95%CI=1−4.15 and OR=1.34; 95%CI=1−1.81 respectively). Conclusions and clinical relevance: Conception via in vitro fertilization and delivery by caesarean section may predispose children to future asthma development. Either variable could also exert a confounding effect on the link of the other to asthma; this may partially be accountable for inconsistencies in the findings of pertinent studies.
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