Birth by Caesarean section and otitis media in childhood: a retrospective cohort study

Maria Hartley, Christy G. Woolcott, Joanne M. Langley, Mary M. Brown, Jillian Ashley-Martin, Stefan Kuhle

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of the present study was to examine the association between birth by Caesarean section (CS) and otitis media (OM) in childhood. We assembled a retrospective cohort of children born between 2003 and 2007 in Nova Scotia and followed them through to 2014. The cohort was derived through a linkage of the Nova Scotia Atlee Perinatal Database with provincial administrative health data. Cox proportional hazards, negative binomial regression and logistic regression were used to examine the association between CS and OM. Among the 36,318 children, 27% were born by CS, and 78% had at least one OM episode (median 2 episodes). Children born by CS were at a slightly higher risk of OM (hazard ratio 1.06, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03, 1.09), had more OM episodes in the first 7 years of life (incidence rate ratio 1.04, 95% CI 1.01, 1.07), and were more likely to be above the 95th percentile for OM episodes than children born vaginally (odds ratio 1.10, 95% CI 0.99, 1.23). Our study shows that birth by CS is weakly associated with OM in childhood, but the clinical and public health impact of these findings is small.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5219
JournalScientific reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

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