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December 1, 2015

Cesarean Delivery Rates: Revisiting a 3-Decades-Old Dogma

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York
JAMA. 2015;314(21):2238-2240. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.15948

In 1985, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated: ‘‘There is no justification for any region to have a cesarean delivery rate higher than 10-15%’’1 However, despite a lack of scientific evidence indicating a substantial maternal and perinatal benefit from increasing cesarean deliveries, the rates of this procedure continue to increase worldwide.2 Cesarean delivery rates have become a major and controversial public health concern with some studies showing that higher rates could be linked to negative consequences such as severe maternal morbidity and mortality, neonatal intensive care unit admission, and consumption of health care resources by procedures without medical indication.2