Conception via in vitro fertilization and delivery by Caesarean section are associated with paediatric asthma incidence



Nikolaos G. Papadopoulos, 41 Fidippidou Street, Athens 115 27, Greece.




The association between perinatal factors and asthma inception is under rigorous investigation. Nevertheless, evidence of a correlation between asthma, conception via in vitro fertilization (IVF) and delivery through Caesarean section (C-section) is inconclusive.


We aimed to assess the relation of asthma incidence with IVF and C-section, after controlling for several potential confounding factors.


Parent-reported wheeze in the last 12 months (current), wheeze ever, physician-diagnosed asthma, method of conception, and type of delivery were recorded from questionnaires filled in by the parents of 2016 Greek children aged 9–13, (the Healthy Growth Study population). Some perinatal data were recorded from children's medical records and others were reported by parents; anthropometric measurements were also conducted in children.


IVF was correlated with physician-diagnosed asthma (OR = 2.25; 95% CI = 1.11–4.56), but not with current/ever wheeze after adjustment for potential confounding factors. After adjustment, C-section was also associated with asthma (OR = 1.39; 95% CI = 1.04–1.87), but not with current/ever wheeze. When the association of both IVF and C-section with asthma was examined in the same multivariate logistic regression model, it was weakened to borderline significance (OR = 2.04; 95% CI = 1–4.15 and OR = 1.34; 95% CI = 1–1.81 respectively).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Conception via IVF and delivery by C-section may predispose children to future asthma development. Either variable could also exert a confounding effect on the link of the other to asthma; this may partially be accountable for inconsistencies in the findings of pertinent studies.