Obstetric complications among older women cannot explain their high caesarean rates

April 12, 2001

Do obstetric complications explain high caesarean section rates among women over 30? A retrospective analysis

Delivery by caesarean section is associated with advancing age, yet a study in this week's BMJ finds that this relation cannot be entirely explained by obstetric complications among older women. This raises the question of why rates for caesarean section are high amongst older mothers.

The research team analysed over 23,000 deliveries to Aberdeen residents aged at least 20 years during 1988-97. Details of obstetric complications and interventions associated with a higher probability of caesarean section were used to investigate the association with age.

Among women who had not previously had a caesarean section and whose babies presented normally at delivery, there was a strong and consistent relation between maternal age and delivery by caesarean section that remained after controlling for relevant obstetric complications and other confounding factors. In contrast, the association between maternal age and both elective and emergency sections was either small or completely absent among women who had previously had a caesarean section or whose babies presented abnormally at delivery.

These results suggest that the relation between maternal age and caesarean section cannot be entirely explained by the obstetric complications considered in this study.

Physician and maternal preference may explain the higher section rates among older women, say the authors. However, further investigation is needed into women's views about increased intervention, the variation in rates for caesarean section among obstetricians, and how maternal age influences both of these factors, they conclude.

Angela Begg, Public Relations Office, University of Aberdeen, King's College Aberdeen, Scotland. Email: a.begg@abdn.ac.uk


Related Caesarean Section Articles from Brightsurf:

Risk of childhood asthma by caesarean section is mediated through the early gut microbiome
New study highlights long-term perturbations of the early gut microbiome as a possible mechanism for the observed association between caesarean section and increased risk of developing asthma.

During COVID-19 first wave, the proportion of caesarean section deliveries done under
New research from north-west England published in Anaesthesia (a journal of the Association of Anaesthetists) shows that during the first wave of COVID-19, the proportion of caesarean section deliveries carried out under general anaesthesia approximately halved, from 7.7% to 3.7%.

Caesarean birth, prolonged labour influence infant gut bacteria, risk of childhood obesity
Events at birth may affect the microbes living in a baby's gut during the first few months of life, leading to a higher risk of childhood obesity and allergies, according to a new study published in the journal Gastroenterology.

Fecal transplantation can restore the gut microbiota of C-section babies
Birth by Cesarean section is detrimental to normal gut microbiota development.

Women who deliver by C-section are less likely to conceive subsequent children
Women who deliver their first child by cesarean section (C-section) are less likely to conceive a second child than those who deliver vaginally, despite being just as likely to plan a subsequent pregnancy, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Caesarean birth has little impact on children developing allergies
A caesarean birth had little impact on whether a child would go onto develop allergies, a new study has shown.

Different views on vaginal birth after previous caesarean section (VBAC)
There is considerable variations in different countries┬┤ health care systems and professionals in the views on vaginal birth after previous caesarean section (VBAC), according to a European study.

Outcomes of birth options after a previous cesarean section
A large cohort study of women who have had one or more previous cesarean sections suggests that attempting a vaginal birth in a subsequent pregnancy is associated with higher health risks to both the mother and the infant than electing for another cesarean.

Death rates from cesarean section far higher in developing countries
Cesarean sections are disproportionately threatening the lives of women and babies in low and middle-income countries (LMIC), according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London.

Altered microbiome after caesarean section impacts baby's immune system
Together with colleagues from Sweden and Luxembourg, scientists from the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg have observed that, during a natural vaginal birth, specific bacteria from the mother's gut are passed on to the baby and stimulate the baby's immune responses.

Read More: Caesarean Section News and Caesarean Section Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.