Babies born by caesarean section have a third more chance of developing autism

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ISthe stimuli suggest that approximately 1% of the UK population may be on the autism spectrum.

Britain has one of the highest caesarean section rates in Western Europe, with 26.2 percent of births delivered this way, compared to 19.7 percent in 2000.

Experts argue that much of the increase has been linked to an increase in the age of mothers as well as to increased levels of obesity.

Professor Andrew Shennan, professor of obstetrics at Kings College in London, said: "The need for a caesarean section is often caused by problems that could affect brain function, such as a badly functioning placenta. It is highly unlikely that cesarean delivery itself is causal in these mental health conditions, from our current understanding of brain physiology and the effects of cesarean section.

"Women should not be alarmed by the need for a caesarean section that is often performed to reduce the risk to their child."

Dr. Pat O & Brien, obstetrician consultant and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "This systematic review and meta-analysis shows an association between cesarean section and autism and ADHD, but a number of underlying factors that could have led to the development of these conditions was not taken into account.

Therefore, the results of this document do not show that caesarean section leads to autism and to ADHD. "

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