Most breech infants born by cesarean in United States

September 15, 2008

More than 80% of breech infants in the United States are born by cesarean section, although rates vary widely by state, researchers report in the July issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

More than 80% of breech infants in the United States are born by cesarean section, although rates vary widely by state, researchers report in the July issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Henry Chong Lee, MD, and colleagues from Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., determined breech cesarean rates for term singletons in the United States from 1997 to 2003 using data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

The researchers found that the breech cesarean rate slightly increased from 83.8 to 85.1%. The rates significantly increased for most sociodemographic groups, but with little to no increase for women under 30 years old. Rates based on state varied widely from 61.6 to 94.2% in 1997, although a high incidence of breech was associated with lower cesarean rates.

“In the United States, breech infants are predominantly born by cesarean,” Lee and colleagues conclude. “There is wide variability by state, which is not explained by sociodemographic patterns and may be due to reporting differences.”

Lee

HC,

El-Sayed

YY,

Gould

JB, et al. Population trends in cesarean delivery for breech presentation in the United States, 1997-2003.

Am J Obstet Gyecnol.

2008;199:59.e1-59.e8.