Corcaigh, Ireland — A study conducted by a group of researchers from the University of College Cork in Ireland has found that delivery by Caesarean section may increase risk of autism in children by up to 23 percent.
The research, which was spearheaded by Ellen Curran, also studied the possible link between C-section delivery and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The study will be published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
The research is a meta-analysis of previous studies that examined the possible link of C-section delivery with developmental disorders such as autism and ADHD. According to the study, the prevalence of autism has increased twentyfold since the early 1980s. Similarly, delivery by Caesarean section has also increased by over twenty percent worldwide.
One of the theories suggest that the fact that C-section deliveries are normally carried out between the 37th to the 39th week of pregnancy may have a direct effect on the infant’s brain development. According to the study,
“It is possible the last few weeks are important for brain development, and therefore being born near rather than at term may lead to an increased risk of psychological problems.”
Researchers warn, however, that the study still warrants further investigation. The authors pointed out that underlying factors that may have been the reason behind a C-section delivery could also be attributed as one of the causes of developmental orders; although at this point, it remains unclear.
The original article by Paul Cullen in The Irish Times can be read here
Contributed by Althea Estrella Violeta