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Stat Bull Metrop Insur Co. 1996 Jan-Mar;77(1):28-36.

State variation in rates of cesarean and VBAC delivery: 1989 and 1993.


There is wide variation among states in rates of cesarean and vaginal births after cesarean (VBAC) deliveries. In general, states in the South have the highest cesarean rates, states in the West have the lowest, and states in the Northeast and Midwest are intermediate. Louisiana had the highest overall rate in 1993 (27.7 per 100 births) while Alaska had the lowest rate (15.2). The majority of states had declines in their cesarean rate between 1989 and 1993. Patterns in primary cesarean rates are similar to those of the overall rate-states in the South generally have the highest rates while states in the West have the lowest rates. Primary cesarean rates ranged between a high of 19.6 in Louisiana to a low of 10.6 in Wisconsin. In general, states with low cesarean rates have among the highest rates of VBAC delivery. Alaska had the highest VBAC rate (40.0), which was almost quadruple the rate of Louisiana (11.2), the state with the lowest rate. Most states had substantial increases in VBAC rates between 1989 and 1993. When examining cesarean rates by maternal age and birth order, states with the highest overall rates also have among the highest age/birth order-specific rates. Cesarean rates were lowest for mothers under 25 years of age having a second or higher order birth in Alaska, 10.4, and highest for mothers 35 years of age or over having a first birth in Mississippi, 51.3. Standardized cesarean rates which were adjusted for differences between states in maternal age and birth order distributions did not diminish the variation among areas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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