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Infants born through cesarean section may be more likely to develop eczema within the first year of life.

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a complicated, inflammatory cutaneous disorder characterized by immune-mediated inflammation and is highly prevalent in newborns. Approximately 60% of patients are diagnosed with eczema within the first year of life, and 85% are diagnosed before the age of 5 years. There are several risk factors for childhood eczema. Some research has found a link between cesarean delivery (CD) and eczema in children. In a meta-analysis published in the European Journal of Pediatrics, it was found that more than a quarter of cesarean-born newborns had eczema.

Eczema Is Prevalent in Cesarean-Born Infants

About 28% of cesarean-born infants in the study developed eczema within the first year of life, which is much greater than the 20% rate observed in vaginally-born infants. These findings support the concept that CD may disrupt immunological development and raise the likelihood of atopic illness in offspring.

Risk of Eczema in Children Born to Parents With a History of the Disease Is Higher

Widespread belief holds that atopic sensitivity is transmitted from parents to offspring, although the specific genes responsible for allergy in offspring have not yet been identified. According to a study, the relative risk of acquiring eczema during the first year of life was 50% higher for children born to parents with a history of eczema than for children born to parents without a history of eczema. A meta-analysis of 66 studies revealed that those with a parental history of the atopic disease have considerably increased odds of eczema (OR 1.81; 95% CI: 1.65–1.99), and parental history of eczema correlates significantly with pediatric eczema in Asia, America, Europe, and Australia.

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Xiong, Z., Zhou, L., Chen, Y., Wang, J., Zhao, L., Li, M., Chen, I., Krewski, D., Wen, S. W., & Xie, R. H. (2022). Prevalence of eczema between cesarean-born and vaginal-born infants within 1 year of age: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Pediatrics, 181(6), 2237-2247. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-022-04436-5