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Study of the variations of the cesarean sections rate in the Rhône-Alpes region (France): effect of women and maternity service characteristics.

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Département d'Information Médicale des Hospices Civils de Lyon, Hôtel Dieu, France.



To analyze the variations of the rate of prophylactic cesarean sections and cesarean sections during labor according to the women's and maternity services' characteristics.


The study population was a sample of 8470 women having delivered in one of the 86 maternity services of the Rhône-Alpes region (France) in 1990. The women's characteristics were risk factors for pregnancy or delivery. The maternity services' characteristics included those describing the service structure and the mode of recruitment. For the statistical analysis we used a two-level logistic model.


After taking into account the women's characteristics, there remained a variation between the maternity services. This variation was in part explained by the type of recruitment of the maternity service. When the proportion of women with a previous cesarean section or a dystocia increased in the maternity service the cesarean sections rate decreased in women presenting similar characteristics.


Thus, the maternity services which receive many "at risk" women tend to have higher cesarean section rates than the others. However, in comparison with women presenting similar characteristics, these same maternity services tend to perform fewer cesarean sections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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