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C-Sections Up Among Women With Mood, Anxiety Disorders

Last Updated: October 27, 2021.

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Primary cesarean section occurs at a higher rate among women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders than among women without these disorders, according to a study published in the October issue of Health Affairs.

Melissa K. Zochowski, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study of commercially insured women using administrative claims data for U.S. in-hospital deliveries from 2008 to 2017 to examine the correlation between perinatal depression and anxiety disorders and primary cesarean section rates.

The researchers found that 24.0 percent of the 360,225 delivery hospitalizations among 317,802 unique women included a delivery by primary cesarean section. During the index pregnancy, 3.1 percent had a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, or both. Among women with versus those without these disorders, the predicted probability of primary cesarean section was 3.5 percentage points higher on average using an adjusted generalized estimating equation.

"This observation is problematic because cesarean deliveries cause short- and longer-term risks to both mother and child and typically rule out vaginal delivery in future pregnancies," the authors write. "Further studies should aim to uncover underlying mechanisms and to develop effective interventions."

One author disclosed financial ties to the health insurance industry; a second author disclosed ties to the publishing, medical technology, and pharmaceutical industries.

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