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Medical News and Perspectives
October 20, 2010

Study Probes Increase in Cesarean Rate

JAMA. 2010;304(15):1658. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1423

The likelihood that a first-time mother will deliver by cesarean method is increasing and the likelihood that a woman will attempt a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean delivery is decreasing, according to a large nationwide study of more than 200 000 births.

To assess contemporary labor and delivery practices, the retrospective study, conducted by 12 institutions participating in the Consortium on Safe Labor, examined electronic medical records associated with 228 668 births between 2002 and 2008 at 19 hospitals around the country (Zhang J et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2010.06.058 [published ahead of print August 30, 2010]). The effort, funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), may help shed some light on why nearly one-third of all US births involve a cesarean delivery.

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