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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


AGUIRRE, Rafael; ANTON, José-Ignacio  and  TRIUNFO, Patricia. An analysis of caesarean sections in Uruguay by type of hospital. Gac Sanit [online]. 2019, vol.33, n.4, pp.333-340.  Epub Dec 02, 2019. ISSN 0213-9111.


To analyse on a comparative basis the incidence of caesarean sections among the different health care systems in Uruguay and with respect to the World Health Organization's (WHO) standards, taking into account the medical-obstetric characteristics of the births, particularly, the Robson classification.


We examine 190,847 births registered by the Perinatal Information System in Uruguay between 2009 and 2014 by type of health care system. Usinglogitmodels, we analyse the probability of caesarean section taking into account the Robson classification, other risk factors and the mothers’ characteristics. We compared the caesarean rates predicted by the different subsystems for a common population. Furthermore, we contrast the caesarean rates observed in each subsystem with the rates that resulted if the Uruguayan hospitals followed the guidelines of the sample of WHO reference hospitals.


Private health systems in Uruguay exhibit a much higher incidence of caesarean sections than public ones, even after considering the medical-obstetric characteristics of the births. Caesarean rates are more than 75% higher than those observed if the WHO standards are applied.


Uruguay has a very high incidence of caesarean sections with respect to WHO standards, particularly, in the private sector. This fact is unrelated to the clinical characteristics of the births.

Keywords : Caesarean section; Hospitals; Delivery of health care; World Health Organization; Uruguay.

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