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Cesarean childbirth in Puerto Rico: the facts

, : Cesarean childbirth in Puerto Rico: the facts. Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal 16(4): 395-400

According to the last Island-wide survey carried out in 1982 in Puerto Rico, the cesarean rate for the trienium of 1980-82 was estimated in 27 percent. Since 1989, an item about the type of delivery has been included in the live birth certificate. These data indicate that the incidence of cesarean deliveries continued to increase and by 1994 it amounted to 31 percent, undoubtedly the highest rate of the world. However, its fluctuation since 1990 suggests that this type of delivery has finally steadied in Puerto Rico. The high proportion of repeated cesareans and the low percentage of vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) deliveries were important factors contributing to the overall rate. Unexpectedly high risk mothers such as, adolescents, unwed and those of the lower socioeconomic status had highest cesarean rates than their encounterparts. Similarly, mothers who had the most adequate prenatal care had the highest percentages of surgical deliveries. In spite of dealing with a selected clientele, the cesarean rate in private hospitals was more than twice that of public institutions. In fact, a multiple correlation analysis demonstrate that the type of hospital of delivery was the most important correlate of a cesarean.


PMID: 9547831

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