May 2, 2024 - Health

Michigan C-section rate higher than national average

Data: CDC; Chart: Axios Visuals

The rate of cesarean births in Michigan is higher than the national average, according to new data.

Why it matters: The rates are increasing and well above the 10%-15% rate that the WHO considers "ideal."

By the numbers: In Michigan, the 2023 C-section rate was 33.3%, according to provisional CDC data. That's nearly 33,000 births out of a total of around 99,000.

  • It's up slightly from 33.1% in 2022.

Zoom out: The national C-section delivery rate increased in 2023 to 32.4%, up from 32.1% in 2022, according to provisional CDC numbers.

  • That's the highest rate since 2013, and the fourth annual increase after the rate generally declined from 2009-2019, says the CDC.

Yes, but: An increase in C-sections doesn't necessarily mean the rate of unnecessary procedures has risen — there are other factors at play.

Patients are sicker overall.

Between the lines: Hospital politics might also come into play.

  • Health care system reimbursements for C-sections are generally higher than for vaginal births.

What we're watching: Expanding access to doula care — as new legislation in New York does — could lower the rates of C-sections.

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