Disparities in cesarean delivery rates and associated adverse neonatal outcomes in New York city hospitals

Heather S. Lipkind, Christina Duzyj, Terry J. Rosenberg, Edmund F. Funai, Wendy Chavkin, Mary Ann Chiasson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the primary cesarean delivery rates and associated neonatal outcomes by insurance status in public and private hospitals in New York City. Methods: We accessed Vital statistics data on all births to women with Medicaid or private insurance from 1996 through 2003, compiling a total of 321,308 nulliparous women who delivered singleton neonates by either normal spontaneous vaginal delivery or primary cesarean delivery. Rates of primary cesarean delivery and adverse neonatal outcomes were examined by hospital type and insurance status while controlling for potential confounders. Results: There were 51,682 and 269,626 women who delivered in public hospitals and private hospitals, respectively. The cesarean delivery rate of women with private insurance delivering in private hospitals was 30.4% compared with a cesarean rate of 21.2% in Medicaid patients delivering in public hospitals (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.57, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.53-1.63). The percent of infants born to women with private insurance and Medicaid delivering in private hospitals with a 5-minute Apgar score less than 7 was 0.6% and 0.8% compared with 1.0% of infants delivering in the public hospital system (adjusted OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.51- 0.68 and adjusted OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.65- 0.82). The neonatal intensive care unit admission rate was also lower in neonates born in private hospitals at 6.7% and 8.5% compared with a 12.8% admission rate in public hospitals (adjusted OR 0.48, 95% CI 0.46-0.51 and adjusted OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.57- 0.62 after controlling for mode of delivery). Conclusion: Even when controlling for confounders, there was an association between primary cesarean delivery and insurance status regardless of hospital type. There was also a higher risk of adverse neonatal outcomes in the public hospitals regardless of mode of delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1239-1247
Number of pages9
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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