12 August 2008

NYC cesarean rate has incread 24% in six years, but NJ can still say, "We're #1!"

The sky's the limit for cesarean surgery rates, apparently. I was reading Radical Doula & saw that like just about everywhere, NYC cesarean rates are on the rise, averaging about 31% (with many hospitals or care providers being much higher). A recent story on NY-1 highlights the research compiled by the New Space For Women's Health & Choices in Childbirth. They found a 24 percent jump in c-section rates throughout the city in just six years (2000-2006).
“We're concerned because we believe that there isn't enough information about the risks of cesarean section,” said New Space for Women's Health executive director Rebecca Benghiat.

Her group claims the higher rates could be linked to malpractice fears, lack of informed choices, and increasingly casual attitudes about surgery.

At least NJ doesn't have to feel bested by NYC on this issue - our rates are, sadly, even higher. NJ's preliminary 2006 rate, according to the CDC , is 37.4% of all births or 38.9% according to 2007 NJ health statistics (and you can bet the 2008 rates will be higher still). That makes NJ number one in the US again, unless you count Puerto Rico (a whopping 48%, which is still lower than St. Barnabas right down the road from me: 49.4%!). Certainly more that the 10-15% suggested by the World Health Organization...hell, I'd take Utah's 21.5%!

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