Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Journal Article - British Medicine Journal
Title Rates and implications of caesarean sections in Latin America: ecological study
Volume 319
Issue 7222
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1999
Page numbers 1397-1402
URL http://www.bmj.com/content/319/7222/1397
Objectives: To estimate the incidences of caesarean sections in Latin American countries and correlate these with socioeconomic, demographic, and healthcare variables.
Design: Descriptive and ecological study: Setting: 19 Latin American countries.
Main outcome measures: National estimates of caesarean section rates in each country.
Results: Seven countries had caesarean section rates below 15%. The remaining 12 countries had rates above 15% (range 16.8% to 40.0%). These 12 countries account for 81% of the deliveries in the region. A positive and significant correlation was observed between the gross national product per capita and rate of caesarean section (rs=0.746), and higher rates were observed in private hospitals than in public ones. Taking 15% as a medically justified accepted rate, over 850 000 unnecessary caesarean sections are performed each year in the region.
Conclusions: The reported figures represent an unnecessary increased risk for young women and their babies. From the economic perspective, this is a burden to health systems that work with limited budgets.