alexa Obstetrical intervention and the singleton preterm birth rate in the United States from 1991-2006
Reproductive Medicine

Reproductive Medicine

Clinics in Mother and Child Health

Author(s): MacDorman MF, Declercq E, Zhang J

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OBJECTIVES: We examined the relationship between obstetrical intervention and preterm birth in the United States between 1991 and 2006. METHODS: We assessed changes in preterm birth, cesarean delivery, labor induction, and associated risks. Logistic regression modeled the odds of preterm obstetrical intervention after risk adjustment. RESULTS: From 1991 to 2006, the percentage of singleton preterm births increased 13%. The cesarean delivery rate for singleton preterm births increased 47%, and the rate of induced labor doubled. In 2006, 51% of singleton preterm births were spontaneous vaginal deliveries, compared with 69% in 1991. After adjustment for demographic and medical risks, the mother of a preterm infant was 88% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.87, 1.90) more likely to have an obstetrical intervention in 2006 than in 1991. Using new birth certificate data from 19 states, we estimated that 42% of singleton preterm infants were delivered via induction or cesarean birth without spontaneous onset of labor. CONCLUSIONS: Obstetrical interventions were related to the increase in the US preterm birth rate between 1991 and 2006. The public health community can play a central role in reducing medically unnecessary interventions.

This article was published in Am J Public Health and referenced in Clinics in Mother and Child Health

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