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Childbirth and deliveries are becoming more complicated

Research Activities, November 2009

The number of hospital stays for childbirth increased 16 percent from 4.3 million to 5 million between 1997 and 2007. However, the number of hospital stays for women who had a normal or uncomplicated birth declined by 43 percent, from 544,000 to 312,000 stays, according to the latest data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The Federal study also found an increase in stays for women who had:

  • A previous cesarean section-107 percent (from 271,000 to 562,000).
  • High blood pressure that complicated their pregnancy or childbirth-28 percent (185,000 to 235,000).
  • Perineal trauma during childbirth-22 percent (713,000 to 868,000).
  • In contrast, stays for women who had umbilical cord complications fell 15 percent (259,000 to 219,000).

These findings are based on data from page 30 in HCUP Facts and Figures 2007 (www.hcup-continus.ahrq.gov/reports/factsandfigures/2007/TOC_2007.jsp), which provides highlights of the latest data from the 2007 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a part of AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. The report provides data on leading reasons for hospitalization, such as arthritis, asthma, childbirth, cancer, diabetes, depression, and heart conditions; procedures performed on hospital patients; and related topics.

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Current as of November 2009
Internet Citation: Childbirth and deliveries are becoming more complicated: Research Activities, November 2009. November 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/research-activities/nov09/1109RA28.html