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Trop Geogr Med. 1995;47(1):19-22.

Caesarean birth rates worldwide. A search for determinants.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Leiden University Hospital, The Netherlands.


High caesarean birth rates are an issue of international public health concern. Determinants of caesarean birth are reviewed in order to formulate strategies to reduce these high rates. A strong independent profession of highly qualified midwives, who care for women with low-risk pregnancies, may contribute to a relatively low caesarean birth rate. Different clinical policies which influence the intervention rate, are discussed for the most frequent reasons to perform caesarean section: dystocia, repeat caesarean birth, breech delivery and foetal distress. The risks and safety of caesarean birth differ from place to place in this world. As the relative safety of the procedure is an important factor contributing to the rise of caesarean birth, the fact that this has only been achieved in some parts of the world should restrict the indications to perform the operation in the best interests of pregnant women.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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