Association of cesarean delivery with anemia in infants and children in 2 large longitudinal Chinese birth cohorts.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Mar ;101(3):523-9. Epub 2014 Dec 24. PMID: 25733637
BACKGROUND: Cesarean delivery may reduce placental-fetal transfusion and thus increase the risk of early childhood anemia compared with vaginal delivery, but this notion has not been carefully studied in longitudinal cohorts.
OBJECTIVE: The aim was to assess the association of cesarean delivery with anemia in infants and children in 2 longitudinal Chinese birth cohorts from different socioeconomic settings.
DESIGN: Cohort 1 was recruited from 5 counties in northeastern China and cohort 2 from 21 counties or cities in southeastern China. Cohort 1 involved 17,423 infants born during 2006-2009 to mothers with early pregnancy baseline hemoglobin concentrations ranging from 100 to 177 g/L, whereas cohort 2 involved 122,777 children born during 1993-1996 to mothers with baseline hemoglobin concentrations ranging from 60 to 190 g/L. The main outcomes were anemia at 6 and 12 mo in cohort 1 and at 58 mo in cohort 2. Multiple logistic regressions were used to estimate adjusted ORs of anemia for cesarean compared with vaginal delivery. Stratified analyses were performed by pre- and postlabor cesarean delivery and according to maternal baseline hemoglobin concentration (≤109, 110-119, 120-129, and ≥130 g/L).
RESULTS: Cesarean delivery was not associated with anemia at 6 mo in cohort 1 (adjusted OR: 1.05; 95% CI: 0.93, 1.19); however, cesarean delivery was associated with increased anemia at 12 mo in cohort 1 (adjusted OR: 1.19; 95% CI: 1.04, 1.37) and at 58 mo in cohort 2 (adjusted OR: 1.11; 95% CI: 1.08, 1.15). The positive associations for anemia at 12 and 58 mo were consistent across maternal hemoglobin subgroups and persisted for cesarean delivery subtypes.
CONCLUSION: Cesarean delivery is likely associated with anemia in children, which suggests a possible need for exploring changes in obstetric care that might prevent anemia in cesarean-delivered children.