Objective: To estimate whether maternal race/ethnicity is independently associated with successful vaginal birth after cesarean delivery (VBAC).
Study design: A retrospective cohort study from January 1, 1997 to July 30, 2002 of women with singleton pregnancies and a previous cesarean delivery. The odds ratio (OR) for successful VBAC as a function of ethnicity was corrected for age >35 years, parity, weight gain, diabetes mellitus, hospital site, prenatal care provider, gestational age, induction, labor augmentation, epidural analgesia, and birth weight >4000 g.
Results: Among 54 146 births, 8030 (14.8%) occurred in women with previous cesarean deliveries. The trials of labor rates were similar among Caucasian (46.6%), Hispanic (45.4%), and African American (46.0%) women. However, there was a significant difference among ethnic groups for VBAC success rates (79.3% vs. 79.3% vs. 70.0%, respectively). When compared to Caucasian women, the adjusted OR for VBAC success was 0.37 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.27-0.50) for African American women and 0.63 (95% CI 0.51-0.79) for Hispanic women.
Conclusion: African American and Hispanic women are significantly less likely than Caucasian women to achieve successful VBAC.