Women Born by C-Section More Likely to Develop Diabetes

Published on April 28th, 2020

diabetes c-section birth injury thurswell lawNot only are c-sections risky at the time of delivery, they could have repercussions decades later. A new Harvard study published in JAMA Network Open found that women who were born via c-section have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in adulthood.

Key Findings from C-Section and Diabetes Study

The study included 33,226 women born between 1946 and 1964 and followed them for up to 25 years. Here are the findings regarding women born by c-section:

  • More than a third were obese.
  • 6% had Type 2 diabetes.

When compared to women born vaginally, those born by c-section had:

  • An 11% increased risk for obesity.
  • A 46% increased risk for diabetes.

Delivery by cesarean is associated with an increased risk of childhood obesity. Whether this risk also includes obesity-associated conditions has remained unclear – though this new study has shed light on what has long been suspected.

A C-Section Affects Health Years Later

Obesity is the largest risk factor for diabetes, an association the study author was expecting. However, even after controlling for each woman’s body mass index (BMI) in the study, those born by c-section had a 34% increased relative risk for developing diabetes.

This finding suggests that a cesarean section alone increases the risk for diabetes, regardless of the increased risk of diabetes caused by obesity.

“The relative increase in risk is fairly modest,” says Dr. Jorge E. Chavarro, associate professor of nutrition at Harvard and lead author of the study, “and this is not to say that c-sections shouldn’t happen. But there are many performed without any medical indication. This study adds evidence that performing c-sections without a medical reason is harmful – and that the effect can appear even decades later.”

Too Many C-Sections in the United States?

In many instances, c-sections cannot be avoided. An emergency birth, a complication during delivery, or a medical condition could all force a doctor’s hand. But the United States is known as a nation that overdoes it on c-section deliveries – over 1.2 million cesareans are performed annually, making it the most common inpatient surgical procedure. C-sections account for nearly one-third of births nationwide.

Could more doctors who support VBACs and more doctors who are comfortable using emergency measures during a vaginal delivery minimize the number of c-sections? Labor and delivery are not about convenience, but many doctors are allowing expectant mothers to treat it as such, scheduling a c-section when it suits them rather than because it’s necessary for their health and the health of their baby.

Not only does a cesarean delivery increase the risk of birth asphyxia and other birth injuries, this new study shows that the choice clearly reverberates through the years. This diabetes study raises the question: What other health conditions are influenced by a c-section delivery?

Did you or your baby suffer complications because of a c-section? You may have a birth injury or medical malpractice case. Contact the Michigan personal injury attorneys at Thurswell Law to get the compensation you deserve. Schedule a consultation by calling (248) 354-2222 today. We do not charge any fees until we win.

Back to News

(248) 354-2222
1000 Town Center, Suite 500 Southfield, MI 48075
Have a question? Contact Us for Free Case Consultation GET STARTED NOW!