Exploring Trends in the Rate of Caesarean Section in Ireland 1999-2007
: This paper explores levels and trends in the prevalence of Caesarean section delivery in Ireland between 1999 and 2007. Over this period the Caesarean section rate for singleton births in Ireland increased by over one quarter. Using data from the Irish National Perinatal Reporting System and the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry scheme we examine the contribution of maternal, delivery and clinical characteristics to the rise in the Caesarean section rate over the period. Analyses show small increases in the clinical indicators of risk for Caesarean section driven by significant change in maternal characteristics (age of mothers and number of previous deliveries) and possible changes in obstetric practice. Grouped logit models of risk of Caesarean by hospital and time period account for 55 per cent of the variation in the growth trend across hospitals. We discuss the possible contribution of changes in obstetric practice
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