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CDC releases preliminary birth data for 2003.

The cesarean birth rate rose for the seventh straight year, reaching its all time high. Preliminary 2003 data show that 27.6% of all births were cesarean births, a 6% increase from 2002. Not surprisingly, the vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) rate, fell to 10.6%, a two-thirds decline from its peak in 1996. The report includes other important health information, such as:

* The percent of mothers who smoked during pregnancy decreased from 11.4% in 2002 to 11.0% in 2003.

* The percent of women receiving prenatal care within the first 3 months of pregnancy increased between 2002 and 2003 (to slightly over 84%), continuing a pattern that began in the early 1990s.

* The percent of babies born preterm (less than 37 weeks) rose from 12.1 in 2002 to 12.3 in 2003, continuing its steady increase since the mid-1990s.

* The percent of babies born at low birthweight (under 2,500 grams) rose from 7.8% in 2002 to 7.9% in 2003.

* Low birthweight has gradually increased since the mid-1980s.

* The teen birth rate fell for the 12th straight year, from 43.0 births per 1,000 teens aged 15-19 years in 2002 to 41.7 in 2003.

* Birth rates for women aged 20-24 years decreased by 1% in 2003, while for women aged 25-29 years the rates increased slightly (by 2%).

* Birth rates for women aged 30-34 years increased by 4% from 2002 to 2003, while the rate for women aged 35-39 years rose 6%

* The birth rates for women aged 40-44 years rose 5% between 2002 and 2003 from 8.3 to 8.7 births per 1,000 women. The rate for women aged 45-54 years remained unchanged at 0.5.The birth rate for women aged 40-44 years has more than doubled since 1981.

"Births: Preliminary Data For 2003" Center for Disease Control National Center for Health Statistics. NVSR Volume 53, Number 9.18 pp. (PHS) 2004-1120.
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Title Annotation:Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Publication:Special Delivery
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 22, 2004
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