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BJOG. 2014 Oct;121(11):1343-50. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.12667. Epub 2014 Feb 12.

Delivery by caesarean section and childhood cancer: a nationwide follow-up study in three countries.

Author information

1
Section for Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the association between delivery by caesarean section and risk of childhood cancer.

DESIGN:

A population-based, follow-up study using register data from three countries.

SETTING:

Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

POPULATION:

Children born in Denmark (1973-2007), Sweden (1973-2006) and Finland (randomly selected sample of 90%, 1987-2007; n = 7,029,843).

METHODS:

Exposure was delivery by caesarean section and the outcome was childhood cancer diagnosis. Follow-up started from birth and ended at the first of the following dates: cancer diagnosis, death, emigration, day before 15th birthday or end of follow-up. Cox regression was used to obtain hazard ratios.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Childhood cancer diagnosis.

RESULTS:

A total of 882,907 (12.6%) children were delivered by caesarean section. Of these, 30.3% were elective (n = 267,603), 35.9% unplanned (n = 316,536) and 33.8% had no information on planning (n = 298,768). Altogether, 11,181 children received a cancer diagnosis. No evidence of an increased risk of childhood cancer was found for children born by caesarean section (hazard ratio, 1.05; 95% confidence interval, 0.99, 1.11). No association was found for any major type of childhood cancer, or when split by the type of caesarean section (elective/unplanned).

CONCLUSION:

The evidence does not suggest that caesarean section is a risk factor for the overall risk of childhood cancer and possibly not for subtypes of childhood cancer either.

KEYWORDS:

Caesarean section; childhood cancer; follow-up studies; mode of delivery; risk

PMID:
24521532
DOI:
10.1111/1471-0528.12667
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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