Gynecologists are concerned about the surge of C-section births around the world. The number of C-sections worldwide almost doubled over the past 15 years, surging from 12% to 21%. According to a study published today in the Lancet journal, it would be easier for wealthy women to give birth via cesarean sections.
The number of C-section births is skyrocketing around the world
Over the past 15 years, this surgical intervention has almost doubled surging from 12% to 21%, between 2000 and 2015, even exceeding 40% in some countries, as revealed in the recent study’s report, issued today in the Lancet journal.
However, it is estimated that between 10% and 15% of all the cesarean section births are necessary for medical reasons. But 60% of the 169 countries reviewed in the research are above this range, while a quarter of the states are below it, putting mothers and children at risk, according to the study based on the data gathered by WHO and UNICEF.
In 15 countries, more than 40% of births are by C-sections. Among these countries, there are the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Egypt, Turkey, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, and Iran.
“The sharp increase in cesarean sections, mostly in affluent environments without medical reasons, is problematic because of the risks for mother and child associated with C-sections,” says Marleen Temmermann from the Aga Khan University of Kenya and Ghent University, in Belgium.
The C-section births rates are also increasing across North America and Western Europe
“In cases where complications occur, cesarean section births save lives, and we must promote women’s access [to C-sections] in poor areas, but we should not abuse them. Disparities are overwhelming between sub-Saharan Africa (4.1% of cesarean sections) and Latin America and the Caribbean, where the rate reached 44.3% in 2015,” Temmermman added.
In Asia, the use of cesarean sections increased by an average of 6% per year, from 7.2% to 18.1% between 2000 and 2015. However, a surge in C-section births is also on the rise across North America (32%) and Western Europe (27%). In both before-mentioned regions, the increase in cesarean sections is of about 2% a year.
The new study, based on data collected from WHO and UNICEF, does not explain this dramatic increase in C-section births in some countries. However, it notes a link between women’s income and education levels.
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