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Trends in Cesarean Section Rates for the United States, 1970-78

Paul J. Placek and Selma M. Taffel
Public Health Reports (1974-)
Vol. 95, No. 6 (Nov. - Dec., 1980), pp. 540-548
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4596390
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Trends in Cesarean Section Rates for the United States, 1970-78
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Abstract

With National Hospital Discharge Survey data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics as a basis, rates of cesarean section deliveries were computed for the United States and its regions for 1970 through 1978. For each year and within each region, trends were examined according to variations in the mother's color, age, and marital status and in the hospital size (number of beds), the form of hospital ownership, and the length of the mother's hospital stay. Within each region and for each variable considered, cesarean section deliveries rose fairly uniformly. Nationally, C-sections comprised 5.5 percent of all deliveries in 1970, but rose steadily to comprise 15.2 percent of all deliveries in 1978. Overall, 1978 rates were highest in the Northeast, among whites, among women age 30 and over, among married women, in hospitals with 500 beds or more, and in proprietary hospitals. The mean length of the mother's hospital stay in 1978 was 6.7 days for cesarean section deliveries and 3.2 days for other deliveries, down from the mean hospital stay of 7.8 days for C-sections and 3.9 days for other deliveries observed in 1970.

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