Objective: We sought to evaluate number and timing of elective cesarean sections at term and to assess perinatal outcome associated with this timing. Study Design: We conducted a recent retrospective cohort study including all elective cesarean sections of singleton pregnancies at term (n = 20,973) with neonatal follow-up. Primary outcome was defined as a composite of neonatal mortality and morbidity. Results: More than half of the neonates were born at <39 weeks of gestation, and they were at significantly higher risk for the composite primary outcome than neonates born thereafter. The absolute risks were 20.6% and 12.5% for birth at <38 and 39 weeks, respectively, as compared to 9.5% for neonates born ≥39 weeks. The corresponding adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence interval) were 2.4 (2.1-2.8) and 1.4 (1.2-1.5), respectively. Conclusion: More than 50% of the elective cesarean sections are applied at <39 weeks, thus jeopardizing neonatal outcome.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2010.01.052, hdl.handle.net/1765/19874
American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Wilmink, F.A, Hukkelhoven, C.W.P.M, Lunshof, S, Mol, B.W.J, van der Post, J.A.M, & Papatsonis, D.N.M. (2010). Neonatal outcome following elective cesarean section beyond 37 weeks of gestation: a 7-year retrospective analysis of a national registry. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 202(3). doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2010.01.052