Changing Rates of Low-Risk Cesarean Deliveries in the U.S.: Classification, Race/Ethnicity and Other Factors

Parker Frisbie, University of Texas at Austin
Sarah McKinnon, University of Texas at Austin
Seung-Eun Song, University of Texas at Austin

Increasing rates of cesarean deliveries in the U.S., especially among low-risk women, continue to be of concern. Unfortunately, the call for additional research on C- section differentials by race/ethnicity has gone largely unheeded. Our objectives are to trace 1991-2002 trends in cesarean deliveries for low-risk women separately for first-birth and multiparous low-risk pregnancies among six race/ethnic groups using two sets of characteristics that have been used to categorize pregnancies as low-risk, and to model the risk of surgical deliveries for all women over time, using NCHS birth records. C-section rates increase over time for both first-birth and multiparous women for each race/ethnic group, and non-Hispanic black women consistently have the highest rates. However, the trajectory varies depending on the criteria employed to denote low-risk women. Regression models indicate that the likelihood of a cesarean is typically greater among minorities than that for non-Hispanic whites.

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Presented in Poster Session 3