The number of Caesarean sections performed at hospitals is highly variable, Canadian researchers have found.
Even when accounting for differences in women's preferences and conditions that could complicate vaginal delivery, C-section rates varied from less than 15% to morethan 27% of all births.
"Thus, our results illustrate what we believe to be 'unwarranted variation,'" the researchers write in the latest issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynaecology, noting that mothers requested C-sections in only 2% of the cases.
As a result, the researchers write, "we suggest that revising the current guidelines regarding the management of (difficult labor) may be a good starting point on the road to decreasing unwarranted variation in cesarean delivery and assisted vaginal delivery rates." - (Reuters Health, May 2010)