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AHRQ releases new evidence report on cesarean delivery on maternal request

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released an evidence report examining the use of cesarean delivery in situations where there are no factors, either for mother or child, which would make such a procedure medically advisable. The report finds no major differences in the results of a first-time cesarean delivery at the mother's request and a planned vaginal delivery, but cautions that the evidence is too weak to warrant a firm conclusion that there are, in fact, no differences. The authors note that if a woman chooses to have a cesarean for her first delivery, she is more likely to have her subsequent deliveries by cesarean, and that repeat cesareans entail increasing risks.

The report, Cesarean Delivery on Maternal Request, was requested and funded by the National Institutes of Health's Office of the Medical Applications of Research, for a State-of-the-Science Conference on the topic, held on March 27-29, 2006, in Bethesda, Maryland. AHRQ's Evidence-based Practice Center, RTI International—University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, conducted the systematic literature review and prepared the report.

The report is available on the AHRQ Web site at http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/tp/cesarreqtp.htm. Print copies of Evidence Report/Technology Assessment Number 133, Cesarean Delivery on Maternal Request (Publication No. 06-E009) are also available through the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse.

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