Most Breech Infants Born by Caesarean in United States

July 17, 2008

More than 80 percent of breech infants in the United States are born by Caesarean section, although rates vary widely by state, researchers report in the July issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

THURSDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- More than 80 percent of breech infants in the United States are born by Caesarean section, although rates vary widely by state, researchers report in the July issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Henry Chong Lee, M.D., and colleagues from Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., determined breech Caesarean rates for term singletons in the United States from 1997 to 2003 using data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

The researchers found that the breech Caesarean rate slightly increased from 83.8 to 85.1 percent. The rates significantly increased for most sociodemographic groups, but with little to no increase for women under 30 years old. Rates based on state varied widely from 61.6 to 94.2 percent in 1997, although a high incidence of breech was associated with lower Caesarean rates.

"In the United States, breech infants are predominantly born by Caesarean," Lee and colleagues conclude. "There is wide variability by state, which is not explained by sociodemographic patterns and may be due to reporting differences."

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