A study in the journal Health Affairs found a wide range in the rates of cesarean deliveries in 593 U.S. hospitals, from 7.1% of births to 69.9%. For lower-risk pregnancies, the rates varied from 2.4% to 36.5%. "Vast differences in practice patterns" are a likely factor in the variation, because hospital type, size and location did not explain the differences, a researcher said.

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