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Declining Trends in Cesarean Deliveries, Ohio 1989–1996: An Analysis by Indications

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Background:Similar to trends observed nationwide, the rates of cesarean deliveries declined in Ohio during the late 1980s and the early 1990s. This study examined the trends in cesarean deliveries in Ohio from 1989 through 1996, in the presence or absence of indications, and in relation to the use of obstetric procedures. Methods:Birth certificate data for all singleton, liveborn infants in Ohio (n =1,204,859) were used to analyze temporal trends in cesarean sections. Results:The rates of primary and repeat cesarean deliveries declined, respectively, from 15.7 to 12.4 percent and from 83 to 63.3 percent during the 8-year study period. Significant declines in repeat cesarean deliveries were observed both in the presence and absence of documented medical conditions that could present a potential indication for the procedure. The rates of repeat cesareans remained comparable among women with and without documented indications for cesarean section (64% and 61%, respectively). In addition, 45 and 30 percent of repeat cesareans in 1989 and 1996, respectively, were performed in the absence of any documented indications, or on an elective basis. The declines in cesarean delivery rates during the 8-year study period occurred simultaneously with an increase in the use of electronic fetal monitoring, induction, and stimulation of labor. Conclusions:The findings suggest that a sizable proportion of repeat cesarean deliveries in 1996 may be unnecessary, even though a marked decline in the procedure has occurred between 1989 and 1996. (BIRTH 27:1 March 2000)
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2000

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