Epidemic of caesarean sections in Brazil

F. C. Barros, C. E. Victora, J. P. Vaughan, S. R A Huttly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brazil has one of the highest rates of caesarean section in the world. Patterns of caesarean sections were studied in a cohort of 5960 mothers followed from 1982 to 1986 in southern Brazil. Overall, 27·9% were delivered by caesarean section in 1982, this proportion being 30% for nulliparae, 80% for second deliveries when the first was by caesarean, and over 99% for third births when the first two were by caesarean. Socioeconomic status and requests for sterilisation by tubal ligation were important underlying factors. 9·4% of the women were sterilised during a caesarean section (3·7% in the lowest income group and 20·2% in the highest). 31% of women who had had their first child by a caesarean section and who were having a second operative delivery were sterilised. The high rates of caesarean sections and accompanying sterilisations reflect the lack of appropriate reproductive and contraceptive policies in the country.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-169
Number of pages3
JournalThe Lancet
Issue number8760
StatePublished - Jul 20 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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