Nearly 1 in 3 US births is by cesarean delivery

November 1, 2010

Almost one-third of deliveries in the United States are by cesarean delivery, and about one-third of all of these are scheduled repeat procedures because of a previous uterine scar, according to new research.

Almost one-third of deliveries in the United States are by cesarean delivery, and about one-third of all of these are scheduled repeat procedures because of a previous uterine scar, according to recently published research.

Researchers at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, conducted a study of cesarean delivery practices using data from electronic medical records collected from 19 hospitals across the United States during the period 2002 to 2008.

They found that the overall rate of cesarean delivery in the sample hospitals was 30.5%. The rate was similar for both nulliparous and multiparous women at close to one-third. Factors that increased the likelihood of the procedure were obesity and older age.

Zhang J, Troendle J, Reddy UM, et al. Contemporary cesarean delivery practice in the United States. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010;203(4):326.e1-e10.