High caesarean section rates among women over 30

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7307.284 (Published 04 August 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:284

Effect of age is continuous and international

  1. John C Marwick (John_marwick@moh.govt.nz), principal technical specialist,
  2. Robert Lynn, senior adviser
  1. Ministry of Health, PO Box 5013, Wellington 6040, New Zealand
  2. Centre for Family Research, Cambridge CB2 3RF

    EDITOR—Bell et al's finding that rates of caesarean section increase with age1 are similar to findings from our analysis of all 103 883 births in New Zealand hospitals between 1 July 1996 and 30 June 1998.2 Interestingly, our analysis shows that rates of caesarean section increase in a continuum from teenage years upwards: there was no age from which the increased likelihood of the operation first began to be noticed. Similar findings have been noted previously from, among other places, Britain,3 Jordan,4 and Italy.5

    Our analysis shows that women who are having a repeat caesarean section explain some of the increase, but …

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