Autism, C-Section Link: 23 Percent Greater Risk To Develop ASD According To Research

A new study claims there is a possible autism and c-section link. Babies born by c-section (cesarean section) could have a 23 percent greater chance of developing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), deduced the study published Monday by researchers at the University of College Cork (UCC) in Ireland.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, another study discovered that a chemical derived from broccoli sprouts can have overwhelming positive effects on the symptoms of those with Autism. Researchers indicated that the results of the study point towards a day when autism will be curable.

In search for a cause or possible contributory factor to autism, researchers of UCC, Ireland, have found babies born via c-section could be at a 23 percent greater risk of autism spectrum disorder. Professor Louise Kenny, one of the authors and a practicing obstetrician, said the link they found between c-sections and children developing ASD is unclear.

The study also tried to look at whether there was a link between c-section and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), although the findings were inconclusive.

The published report was result of a systematic review of international studies.

Professor Patricia Kearney, a senior author on the paper, explained to the Irish Independent how the study was performed and some of their findings.

"We looked at and compiled all the other studies that had already been undertaken, that compared women who had a C-section to those who had a vaginal delivery, and then looked at the risk of autism in babies."
Professor Kearney said that a number of theories were being explored, including the babies' exposure to different microorganisms, known as microbiota.
"The baby that comes through the birth canal is exposed to all the different microbiotas that are sitting there, whereas a baby that is born by C-section is literally lifted out so it is exposed to the skin microbiota, and there is a lot of interest in how the different microbiota can have effects."
She stressed, "More research is needed," and other medical professionals warned against rash reaction to the study.

Experts spoke to concerns, saying to not panic, according to Yahoo News. The caution is needed as the finding could prompt major concern among pregnant women, considering that one in three babies is born via C-section in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A representative of the Society for Women's Health Research spoke to calm any rising fears.

"This publication shows a small association between autism spectrum disorders and Cesarean sections, but it does not in any way demonstrate causation... These are preliminary conclusions and the paper itself is not yet available for the medical community to read, digest and debate."
The most important thing, she notes, is for women to talk to their obstetricians about birthing options and to keep this in mind: The rising number of c-section deliveries has become so alarming that new practice guidelines were put into place in March 2014 to prevent unnecessary procedures by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. While warning about having a c-section for convenience sake, she points out its vital role in preventing maternal and neonatal mortality.
"Cesarean sections can be life-saving for a mother and child. There are many reasons, medically, that you should have one. However, if you don't have one of those reasons, you shouldn't elect to have a C-section."