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Induction of Labor May Not Raise Emergency Cesarean Risk

From week 39 onward, C-section rates not different in women with induced and later spontaneous labor

MONDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Induction of labor does not increase the risk of emergency cesarean section (CS), when comparing gestational weeks 39, 40, or 41 with a later induced or spontaneous labor, according to a study published online June 16 in the Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.

Ole Bredahl Rasmussen, M.D., from the Hospital Unit Vest in Herning, and Steen Rasmussen, Ph.D., from the National Board of Health in Copenhagen -- both in Denmark, compared, by gestational week, nulliparous and parous women who were either induced or had expectant management, with regard to the need for CS in labor. Data for 230,528 deliveries, from 2004 until mid-2009, were collected from the Danish Birth Registry.

The investigators found that, from gestational week 39 and on, the CS rates in labor were similar for nulliparous and parous women when comparing women with induced labor and those who waited for a later induced or spontaneous labor. For CS in labor in nulliparous women, the odds ratios (OR) were 0.99 for week 37, 1.16 for week 38, 1.04 for week 39, 1.00 for week 40, and 0.97 for week 41. For parous women, the ORs were 1.72, 1.27, 1.15, 1.18, and 1.07 for weeks 37 to 41, respectively.

"We found no added risk for CS in labor when comparing induction of labor in a specific gestational week from week 39 with a later labor," the authors write.

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