Intended for healthcare professionals


Alarming global rise in caesarean births, figures show

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 12 October 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4319
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London, UK

Caesarean section use is growing at an “alarming” rate, accounting for 21% of births globally in 2015—up from 12% in 2000—experts have warned.

A series of three papers published in the Lancet shows that 106 out of 169 countries have caesarean section rates above the 10% to 15% of births that is thought to be optimal.123 In at least 15 countries the caesarean rate exceeds 40%, including the Dominican Republic (58.1%), Brazil (55.5%), Egypt (55.5%), and Turkey (53.1%). In the UK, caesarean section deliveries have increased from 19.7% of births in 2000 to 26.2% in 2015.

A caesarean section can be a life saving intervention when medically indicated and should be universally available, …

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