Fewer Attempted Labors Drive Increase in Cesarean Rate

Fewer Attempted Labors Drive Increase in Cesarean Rate
Fewer Attempted Labors Drive Increase in Cesarean Rate

(HealthDay News) – Increases in the primary cesarean delivery rate appear to be driven by changes in rates of attempted labor as well as changes in rates of labor success, according to research published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Alan E. Simon, MD, and Sayeedha G. Uddin, MD, MPH, of the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Hyattsville, MD, used hospital discharge data to examine U.S. trends between 1990 and 2010 in primary cesarean deliveries, labor attempts, and labor success among women without prior cesarean delivery.

The researchers found that the primary cesarean delivery rate decreased 0.2 percentage points per year between 1990 and 1999, increased 1 percentage point per year between 1999 and 2004, and increased 0.3 percentage points per year from 2004 until 2010. The rate of labor attempts decreased 0.4 percentage points per year between 1998 and 2005, and remained unchanged between 2005 and 2010. Labor success rates increased 0.2 percentage points per year between 1990 and 1998, and decreased 0.5 percentage points per year from 1998–2010.

"Changes in the primary cesarean delivery rate resulted from both changes in the rates of attempted labor and labor success," the authors write.

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