From February 2017, information about the work of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow is available and updated on the University of Glasgow website.

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Caesarean section is becoming more common across Europe but is the increase faster in countries that used to be communist?

Caesarean Section Rates Increasing in Former Communist Countries

posted on: Dec 3, 2012

Caesarean sections can be life-saving in many situations and have saved the lives of many pregnant women. However, performing unnecessary caesarean sections can put pregnant women at unnecessary risk.

Across the world, many countries are experiencing increases in caesarean section rates but the reasons for why this is happening are unclear. Differences in health care systems or changes in culture provide important potential explanations.
A new study systematically comparing trends in Caesarean section rates across Europe has been published. By looking at information routinely collected from 2000 to 2010, the authors found that former communist countries started with substantially lower caesarean section rates than other European countries. However, over time former communist countries have experienced far greater increases in caesarean section rates.
The reasons for this are currently unknown and will require further research. However, this finding has important implications for those planning health care resources and asks questions about whether scarce health care resources are being used in the most efficient way.
To find out more,click here, or here for the pdf.