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Cesarean Section Rates Can Vary Greatly Even at Community Level

Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- According to a new report from Consumer Reports, the frequency of Cesarean sections in American hospitals can vary greatly, even within the same city.

The report looked at C-section rates at 1,500 hospitals in 22 states and found that even within communities -- let alone across the nation -- C-section rates can vary by 40 percent or more. In Los Angeles, for instance, one hospital reported delivering 55 percent of low-risk pregnancies -- where the mother has not previously had a C-section birth, and is giving birth to a single, full-term child in the proper position -- by C-section. A second hospital, just five miles away, reported a rate of just 15 percent of such births delivered by C-section.

Cesarean sections can mean longer recovery time for new mothers, as well as higher rates of complication.

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ABC News Radio