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Target rates for caesarean section may be too low, say researchers

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 02 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6439
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

The optimal rate of caesarean delivery in relation to maternal and neonatal mortality is about 19 caesarean deliveries in every 100 live births, claims a study published in JAMA that gathered data from 194 World Health Organization member states.1

In 1985 WHO stated that there was no justification for any region to have caesarean rates higher than 10-15%. However, caesarean rates in many countries are much higher than this and continue to increase worldwide.

US researchers gathered data on caesarean rates from 2012, as well as on health expenditure per capita, fertility rate, life expectancy, and regional information. Caesarean delivery rates in 2012 were available from 54 countries, and the most …

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