4 years ago

Cliff-edge model predicts intergenerational predisposition to dystocia and Caesarean delivery [Anthropology]

Cliff-edge model predicts intergenerational predisposition to dystocia and Caesarean delivery [Anthropology]
Philipp Mitteroecker, Sonja Windhager, Mihaela Pavlicev

Recently, we presented the cliff-edge model to explain the evolutionary persistence of relatively high incidences of fetopelvic disproportion (FPD) in human childbirth. According to this model, the regular application of Caesarean sections since the mid-20th century has triggered an evolutionary increase of fetal size relative to the dimensions of the maternal birth canal, which, in turn, has inflated incidences of FPD. While this prediction is difficult to test in epidemiological data on Caesarean sections, the model also implies that women born by Caesarean because of FPD are more likely to develop FPD in their own childbirth compared with women born vaginally. Multigenerational epidemiological studies indeed evidence such an intergenerational predisposition to surgical delivery. When confined to anatomical indications, these studies report risks for Caesarean up to twice as high for women born by Caesarean compared with women born vaginally. These findings provide independent support for our model, which we show here predicts that the risk of FPD for mothers born by Caesarean because of FPD is 2.8 times the risk for mothers born vaginally. The congruence between these data and our prediction lends support to the cliff-edge model of obstetric selection and its underlying assumptions, despite the genetic and anatomical idealizations involved.

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.