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OBSTETRICS: C-section rate expected to be 27 to 30 percent

The rate of cesarean deliveries is currently around one-third of all deliveries in the U.S. and is expected to remain in the range of 27 to 30 percent for the near term.  In about 15 years, the rate may drop to 20 to 25 percent.  Factors responsible for the continued “upward pressure” on the C-section rate include maternal age, obesity and diabetes.

Source: Clapp, M.A., and Barth, W.H., Jr. (2017, December). The future of cesarean delivery rates in the United States. Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology, 60(4), 829-839.  Click here for publisher’s website: http://journals.lww.com/clinicalobgyn/Abstract/2017/12000/The_Future_of_Cesarean_Delivery_Rates_in_the.17.aspx  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

BIRTHS: About one-third of all births are C-sections

THE MOST CURRENT STATISTICS (2014)

In the United States, about one-third of all live births today are via cesarean section, according to national data from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.  The most current statistic is:  32.2 percent in 2014, compared to what is described as the peak of 32.9 percent in 2009.  When the data are analyzed according to race/ethnicity, the group with the highest percentage of c-sections is non-Hispanic black women (35.6 percent in 2014).

Source: Martin, J.A., Hamilton, B.E., and Oserman, J.K. (2015, Sept.). Births in the United States, 2014. NCHS Data Brief, 216.  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db216.pdf Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

TREND OVER PAST 25 YEARS: Going up

A separate report from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that in the ’90s, the c-section rate was much lower – holding at about 20 to 23 percent overall.

Source: Hamilton, B.E., Martin, J.A., Osterman, M.J.K., and others. (2015, Dec. 23). Births: Final data for 2014. National Vital Statistics Report. 64(12). http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_12.pdf   Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

How are babies delivered? About one-third by C-section

Over 1 million births that occurred in over 800 hospitals in the states of AZ, CA, FL, IA, MD, NJ, NC, WA, and WI in 2008 were studied.  Here is the distribution of how these childbirths occurred:

  • 720,305 (54 percent) – normal spontaneous vaginal deliveries
  • 424,224 (32 percent) – cesarean deliveries
  • 174,036 (13 percent) – vacuum extractions
  •     6,158 (0.5 percent) – forceps deliveries
  •   19,582 (1.5 percent) – two or more attempted procedures
  • 1,344,305 total

The authors raise the concern that the low volume of forceps deliveries in many hospitals may not provide enough opportunities for residents to learn how to do the procedure.

Source: Kyser, K.L., Lu, X, and others.  Forceps delivery volumes in teaching and nonteaching hospitals: are volumes sufficient for physicians to acquire and maintain competence?  Academic Medicine;89(1):71-76, Jan. 2014.  Click here for access to the publisher’s website: http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Abstract/2014/01000/Forceps_Delivery_Volumes_in_Teaching_and.26.aspx  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org