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Several lines of evidence suggest that children born via Cesarean section (C-section) are at greater risk for adverse health outcomes including allergies, asthma and obesity. Vaginal seeding is a medical procedure in which infants born by C-section are swabbed immediately after birth with vaginal secretions from the mother. This procedure has been proposed as a way to transfer the mother's vaginal microbiome to the child, thereby restoring the natural exposure that occurs during vaginal birth that is interrupted in the case of babies born via C-section. Preliminary evidence indicates partial restoration of microbes. However, there is insufficient evidence to determine the health benefits of the procedure. Several studies, including trial, are currently underway. At the same time, in the clinic setting, doctors are increasingly being asked to by expectant mothers to have their babies seeded. This article reports on the current research on this procedure and the issues it raises for regulators, researchers, physicians, and patients.
To investigate the association between maternal employment and childhood overweight in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC).
We utilized cross-sectional data from forty-five Demographic and Health Surveys from 2010 to 2016 (n 268 763). Mothers were categorized as formally employed, informally employed or non-employed. We used country-specific logistic regression models to investigate the association between maternal employment and childhood overweight (BMI Z-score>2) and assessed heterogeneity in the association by maternal education with the inclusion of an interaction term. We used meta-analysis to pool the associations across countries. Sensitivity analyses included modelling BMI Z-score and normal weight (weight-for-age Z-score≥−2 to <2) as outcomes.
Participants included children 0–5 years old and their mothers (aged 18–49 years).
In most countries, neither formal nor informal employment was associated with childhood overweight. However, children of employed mothers, compared with children of non-employed mothers, had higher BMI Z-score and higher odds of normal weight. In countries where the association varied by education, children of formally employed women with high education, compared with children of non-employed women with high education, had higher odds of overweight (pooled OR=1·2; 95 % CI 1·0, 1·4).
We find no clear association between employment and child overweight. However, maternal employment is associated with a modestly higher BMI Z-score and normal weight, suggesting that employment is currently associated with beneficial effects on children’s weight status in most LMIC.
To compare BMI with abdominal skinfold thickness (ASF), waist circumference and waist-to-height ratio in the prediction of insulin resistance (IR) in prepubertal Colombian children.
We calculated age- and sex-specific Z-scores for BMI, ASF, waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio and three other skinfold-thickness sites. Logistic regression with stepwise selection (P = 0·80 for entry and P = 0·05 for retention) was performed to identify predictors of IR and extreme IR, which were determined by age- and sex-specific Z-scores to identify the ≥ 90th and ≥ 95th percentile of homeostasis model assessment (HOMAIR), respectively. We used receiver operating characteristic curves to compare the area under the curve between models.
Children (n 1261) aged 6–10 years in Tanner stage 1 from a population-based study.
A total of 127 children (seventy girls and fifty-seven boys) were classified with IR, including sixty-three children (thirty-three girls and thirty boys) classified with extreme IR. Only ASF and BMI Z-scores were retained as predictors of IR by stepwise selection. Adding ASF Z-score to BMI Z-score improved the area under the curve from 0·794 (95 % CI 0·752, 0·837) to 0·811 (95 % CI 0·770, 0·851; P for contrast = 0·01). In predicting extreme IR, the addition of ASF Z-score to BMI Z-score improved the area under the curve from 0·837 (95 % CI 0·790, 0·884) to 0·864 (95 % CI 0·823, 0·905; P for contrast = 0·01).
ASF Z-score predicted IR independent of BMI Z-score in our population of prepubertal children. ASF and BMI Z-scores together improved IR risk stratification compared with BMI Z-score alone, opening new perspectives in the prediction of cardiometabolic risk in prepubertal children.
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