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C-section rate rises to about one-third of births: US 2009

Percent Cesarean Delivery Rate (Average): US 2009

  • 32% small hospitals
  • 32.3% medium hospitals
  • 33.4% large hospitals
  • 32.6% teaching hospitals
  • 31.7% rural hospitals
  • 32.8% ALL hospitals

This article provides similar breakdowns for the rate of lower-risk C-section deliveries, which averages 12 percent for all hospitals.

These rates are drawn from a nationally representative sample of hospitals that had 100+ births in 2009.  The data source is the Nationwide Inpatient Sample of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.  The C-section rate has been increasing–it was 20.7 percent of all deliveries in 1996. 

Source: Kozhimannil, K.B., Law, M.R., and Virnig, B.A.  Cesarean delivery rates vary tenfold among US hospitals: reducing variation may address quality and cost issues.  Health Affairs;32(3):527-535, Mar. 2013.  Click here for full text: http://cfpcwp.com/MCDG/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Health-Aff-2013-Kozhimannil-527-35.pdf  Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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