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E. A National Study Finds C-section Deliveries on the Rise

Narrator: This is Science Today. The National Center for Health Statistics recently announced that Caesarean deliveries are widespread among women of all ages. In a previous study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Davis, it was found that C-section rates doubled in first-time mothers who were over the age of forty. Dr. William Gilbert, chief of obstetrics and gynecology, led that study.

Gilbert: When I couldn't figure out why the caesarean rate was so high, one of my colleagues said, "well, Bill, if you have a 20-year-old woman, she can run faster, jump higher than a forty-year-old woman. Why would you think her uterus would be any different?" Looking at it that way, even though the uterus hasn't been used as in childbearing, it still undergoes the same aging process as the muscles, the bones, the fat tissue and other parts of our body and therefore, looking at it that way, maybe the aging process has more to do with it than we think.

Narrator: Although the National Center for Health Statistics' study was based on women of all ages, the upward trend of older first-time mothers does factor in, as the rates of women giving birth over the age of forty is on the rise. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.