Finally some good news when it comes to the seemingly ever-increasing C-section rate in the U.S.! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report yesterday revealing that the national cesarean rate had dropped from 32.9 percent to 32.8 percent. This decline marked the first time in more than a decade that the rate had not increased.
The report, “Births: Preliminary Data for 2010,” from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics is based on an analysis of almost 100 percent of birth records collected in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. In addition to a lower C-section rate, the report also noted that the overall birth rate had dropped 3 percent since the year prior, which was the third drop in as many years—a trend experts are blaming on the weak economy.
Additionally, teens ages 15 to 19 and women in their early 20s had the most dramatic declines in birth rates (9 and 6 percent, respectively). For teens, that marks the lowest birth rate since recordkeeping began in the 1940s. The birth rate for women in their late 20s and 30s also fell, but the birth rate for women in their early 40s actually increased, marking the highest birth rate for that age group since 1967.
And finally, good news when it comes to the preterm birth rate: it dropped for the fourth straight year, to just under 12 percent of all births—a 6 percent drop from 2009.