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Cesarean delivery on maternal request in the United States from 1999 to 2015

Published:October 07, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2021.10.003

      Background

      The rate of cesarean delivery has increased in the United States over the last several decades. However, the rate of cesarean delivery on maternal request remains undetermined, and recent data on cesarean delivery on maternal request are lacking.

      Objective

      This study aimed to describe the prevalence and temporal trends of cesarean delivery on maternal request in the United States and characterize the population of women who elect to undergo a cesarean delivery in the absence of fetal or maternal indications. Maternal outcomes between women who delivered by cesarean delivery on maternal request and those who did not were compared.

      Study Design

      A retrospective cohort study was conducted using data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project-Nationwide Inpatient Sample from 1999 to 2015. An algorithm based on International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes was created to identify patients who underwent a primary elective cesarean delivery in the absence of fetal or maternal indications. Maternal characteristics and outcomes between women who delivered by cesarean delivery on maternal request and those who did not were compared using descriptive and logistic regression analyses.

      Results

      Of the 13,698,835 deliveries included throughout the study period, 228,586 were identified as cesarean delivery on maternal request. Rates of cesarean delivery on maternal request among all live births increased throughout the study period, from 1% in 1999 to 1.62% in 2015 (P<.0001). Women who delivered by cesarean delivery on maternal request were more likely to be >35 years of age, were in the highest income quartile, and have private insurance. Cesarean delivery on maternal request was associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (odds ratio, 1.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.8–2.0), myocardial infarction (odds ratio, 6.3; 95% confidence interval, 3.8–10.4), sepsis (odds ratio, 5.6; 95% confidence interval, 4.7–6.6), disseminated intravascular coagulation (odds ratio, 2.9; 95% confidence interval, 2.3–3.7), death (odds ratio, 14.5; 95% confidence interval, 11.4–18.6), and prolonged hospital stay (odds ratio, 4.9; 95% confidence interval, 4.8–5.1) and a lower risk of postpartum hemorrhage (odds ratio, 0.7; 95% confidence interval, 0.7–0.7).

      Conclusion

      Our findings indicated that cesarean delivery on maternal request accounts for a small but increasing proportion of all cesarean deliveries in the United States. Cesarean delivery on maternal request was more prevalent among women with certain demographic characteristics, indicating that the option of cesarean delivery on maternal request may be more appealing or more frequently offered to a certain population of women. Although the overall risk of adverse events is low for individual births, population effects can result in increased morbidity and mortality. Therefore, the rates of cesarean delivery on maternal request should be monitored on a national level. Study findings were limited by the absence of a specific diagnostic code for cesarean delivery on maternal request.

      Key words

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