The Association between Birth by Caesarean Section and Otitis Media in Nova Scotian Children
Background. Birth by Caesarean section (CS) is a risk factor for allergic disorders, diabetes, and obesity. Otitis media (OM) is a common childhood illness. Risk factors for OM include allergic disorders and obesity; therefore, CS may constitute a risk factor for OM. Objectives. To examine the risk of developing OM and the number of OM episodes in children born by CS compared to children born vaginally. Methods. Cox proportional hazard models were used to examine the risk of developing OM, and negative binomial regression models were used to model the number of OM episodes. Results. Children born by CS did not have an increased risk for OM (HR 1.01, 95% CI 0.98-1.03), but had a greater number of episodes (IRR 1.06, 95% CI 1.04-1.09). Conclusion. Caesarean section is a relatively weak risk factor for the number of OM episodes. This improves our understanding of CS outcomes and OM risk factors.