Cyprus records high rates in caesarean births

Caesarean section rates in Cyprus in 2015 were high in comparison to other 30 countries in Europe according to the New European Perinatal Health Report released by the Euro-Peristat project.

The European Perinatal Health Report is the fourth report produced by the Euro-Peristat collaboration and it is based on data for over five million births in the year 2015 compiled from public national statistical systems in 31 countries, including Cyprus.

According to the data, in 2015 the percentage of c-section deliveries in Cyprus was 56,9% while the median c- section rate was 27.0%. A quarter of countries had rates below 21%. Iceland, Finland, Norway, and the Netherlands had the lowest rates, under 18%. In contrast, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, and Cyprus had rates over 35%.

Overall, the report shows, caesarean birth rates were 4% higher in 2015 compared with 2010.

Much greater increases occurred in countries such as Romania, rising from 36.9% to 46.9%, Poland, rising from 34.0% to 42.2%, Hungary rising from 32.3% to 39%, and Scotland rising from 27.8% to 32.5%.

The median multiple pregnancy rate was 16.7 per 1000 women delivering a live or stillbirth.The multiple birth rate ranged from over 19 per 1000 women in Ireland, Germany, Slovenia, Spain, and Cyprus to under 14 per 1000 women in Romania, Slovakia, Poland, Greece, Finland, and Lithuania.

The median percentage of women having babies at 35 years of age or older was 20.8%

Percentages exceeded 29% in Portugal, Greece, Ireland, Italy, and Spain and were less than 15% in Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland. There is a common trend toward later age at childbirth. Overall the percentage of mothers aged 35 years or older increased by 16% between 2010 and 2015, with the biggest increases in Cyprus, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Portugal.

Teenage pregnancy is increasingly uncommon in Europe; in 21 countries, fewer than 3% of women were under 20 years of age at the birth of their child. This percentage exceeded 6% in several countries, however: Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria.

As regards stillbirths, the median stillbirth rate at 28 weeks of gestation and over was 2.7 per 1000 total live and still births.

Rates ranged from rates below 2.3 in in Cyprus, Iceland, Denmark, Finland, and the Netherlands to 3.5 or more in Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria.

Neonatal mortality rates in 2015 were 10% lower than in 2010. In some countries, neonatal mortality rates were higher in 2015, however. The report also shows that low birthweight babies accounted for less than 4.5% of all births in Iceland, Sweden, Finland, and Estonia and more than 8.0% in Spain, Hungary, Portugal, Greece, Bulgaria, and Cyprus.

Preterm birth rates ranged widely, from less than 6% in Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, and Lithuania to more than 8.0% in Belgium, Scotland, Romania, Germany, Hungary, Greece, and Cyprus.

Comparisons in the preterm birth rate in 2010 and 2015 differed widely between countries. It was significantly lower in 2015 in 7 countries, including the Netherlands, Austria, and the Czech Republic; and significantly higher in 8 countries: Portugal, England and Wales, Poland, Ireland, France, Cyprus and Scotland.

Source: Cyprus News Agency