Over the Last Decade, C-Section Delivery Has Doubled Globally

Over the last one decade, there has been an increase in caesarian births across the world, according to a recent Lancet study.


There has been an increase in caesarian births across the world and the figure has almost doubled in the last one decade both in India as well as globally and growing by 4% annually, a recent Lancet study reveals.

According to the study, the growing number of the c-section surgeries is concerning as “Women who do not need a caesarean section and their infants can be harmed or die from the procedure, especially when done in the absence of adequate facilities, skills, absence and comprehensive health care.”

According to Indian Express, C-section in India has more than doubled from 9% to 18.5% in the last 15 years. Although the number has differed in various states, Andhra Pradesh tops with a 49% c-section births and Nagaland is at the bottom of the list with only at 9% C-section births.

Short-term risks of C-section include altered immune development, an increase in likelihood of allergy, atopy, and asthma, and reduced intestinal gut microbiome diversity. The persistence of these risks into later life is less investigated, although an association between C-section use and greater incidence of late childhood obesity and asthma have been frequently reported.

There are few studies that focus on the effects of C-section on cognitive and educational outcomes. Understanding potential mechanisms that link C-section with childhood outcomes, such as the role of the developing neonatal microbiome, has potential to inform novel strategies and research for optimizing C-section use and promote optimal physiological processes and development.

The studies show a constant growth of c-section every year. On the basis of data from 169 countries that include 98·4% of the world’s births, it has been estimated that 29·7 million (21·1%, 95% uncertainty interval 19·9–22·4) births occurred through C-section in 2015  which was almost double the number of births by this method in 2000 (16·0 million [12·1%, 10·9–13·3] births). C-section use in 2015 was up to ten times more frequent in the Latin America and Caribbean region, where it was used in 44·3% (41·3–47·4) of births, than in the west and central Africa region, where it was used in 4·1% (3·6–4·6) of births.

“The global and regional increases in C-section use were driven both by an increasing proportion of births occurring in health facilities, and increases in C-section use within health facilities,” the authors wrote in their report.

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