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Immunobiology. 2016 Dec;221(12):1418-1423. doi: 10.1016/j.imbio.2016.07.003. Epub 2016 Jul 16.

Mode of delivery and atopic phenotypes: Old questions new insights? A retrospective study.

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Departments of Pediatric Sciences, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.
Departments of Pediatric Sciences, University of Messina, Messina, Italy. Electronic address:
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.



To date studies on the relation between mode of delivery and atopic diseases in are controversial.


The aim of the study was to determine a possible relationship between mode of delivery and risk of atopic phenotypes and, to assess the critical role of some pre-and post-natal parameters as a link between mode of delivery and risk of atopy.


1516 children were assessed by skin prick tests, serum total and specific IgE levels. Parental reports on demographic and clinical data were also recorded.


Of the 1516 children enrolled for the study, clinical and laboratory informations were obtained from 917 children. 460 children of them were born via CD and 457 via VD. Mode of delivery did not modify the prevalence of immune sensitization and/or allergic diseases. However, CD was associated with increased risk of atopy (p<0.001). Moreover, some parameters such as familiar history of atopy (p<0.001), habits smoking (p<0.05), exclusive artificial feeding (p<0.001); and breast-feeding time (<3months) (p<0.001) were associated with a major risk of atopy in CD group. Additionally, although our study confirmed that breast-feeding is associated to lower serum total IgE levels than artificial-feeding (p<0.001), it seems that the protective role of breast-feeding is negatively influenced from CD. Also in artificial-feeding subjects CD is related to a significant higher levels of IgE than VD (p<0.001).


Our findings suggest that CD influences only the risk of atopy but no prevalence of immune sensitization and allergic diseases.


Allergic diseases; Atopy; Childhood; Immune system; Mode of delivery; Sensitization

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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