Cesarean Delivery and Healthcare Utilization and Costs in the Offspring: A Retrospective Cohort Study
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OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between cesarean delivery and healthcare utilization and costs in offspring from birth until age 7 years. STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective cohort study of singleton term births in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia between 2003 and 2007 followed until age 7 years was conducted using data from the Nova Scotia Atlee Perinatal Database and administrative health data. The main exposure was mode of delivery (cesarean delivery vs vaginal birth); the outcome was healthcare utilization and costs during the first 7 years of life. Associations were modeled using multiple regression adjusting for maternal prepregnancy weight and sociodemographic factors. RESULTS: In total, 32 464 births were included in the analysis. Compared with children born by vaginal birth, children born by cesarean delivery had more physician visits (incidence rate ratio 1.06, 95% CI 1.05-1.08) and longer hospital stays (incidence rate ratio 1.12, 95% CI 1.03-1.21) and were more likely to be high utilizers of physician visits (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.10-1.37). Physician and hospital costs were $775 higher for children born by cesarean delivery compared with vaginal birth. CONCLUSIONS: Cesarean delivery compared with vaginal birth is associated with small but statistically significant increases in healthcare utilization and costs during the first 7 years of life.
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