Monday, December 11, 2006

Investigator acknowledges limitations of MacDorman study

Both here and on the Lamaze board, I have criticized the MacDorman study that purports to show that C-section increases the risk of neonatal death. The study is based on birth certificate data, and birth certificate data is notoriously unreliable for listing complications or risk factors. See Goer fails to address specific criticisms of the MacDorman study and There's no debate if the other side gives up.

On Medscape, there is an interview with one of the principal investigators that acknowledges this very important problem:

Medscape: What are the limitations of your study?

Dr. Declerq: There are several limits. Most notably these births we have identified cannot be termed "patient choice" cesareans since there is no indication on the birth certificate concerning mother's choice or intention. Also there is the possibility that some of the cesareans were for medical reasons not covered by the birth certificate items or that those completing the forms simply failed to complete them correctly. (my emphasis)


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