The Risk of Cesarean Delivery as Related to Maternal Height and Race [16K]

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We sought to determine differences in the rate of cesarean delivery associated with maternal height as related to race.


We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 9,208,030 women with singleton, non-anomalous, vertex, term gestations from 2012 to 2014 and examined rates of cesarean delivery based on maternal height and race. Maternal height was divided into 2-inch increments and race was classified as Asian, Hispanic, White, or Black. Results were stratified by parity and history of previous cesarean delivery. Chi-square tests were employed for statistical comparisons and a P-value of less than 0.05 was used to indicate statistical significance.


Overall, we found that maternal height is inversely related to risk of cesarean delivery, regardless of race. The overall odds ratio of cesarean delivery as related to increasing maternal height is 0.93 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.9309–0.9321). When stratified by race, our results showed that height is most protective for Asians (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.909–0.918) and least protective for Hispanics (OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.946–0.949), indicating that for every 2-inch increase in maternal height, there is a 9% reduction in risk of cesarean delivery in Asian women, but only a 5% reduction in risk for Hispanic women.


Maternal height modifies the risk of cesarean delivery, which varies based on race. Though stature as related to race has not typically been included in prenatal counseling for women, it may be reasonable to alter counseling based on these patient characteristics.

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