Objective: To study trends in the main indicators of health, medical practice and risk factors in France.
Population and method: A sample of all births during one week was set-up in 1995 (n=13,318), 1998 (n=13,718), 2003 (n=14,737) and 2010 (n=14,903), and we compared data from these four years.
Results: Between 1995 and 2010, maternal age and body mass index increased steadily, but tobacco smoking decreased. In 2010, 39.4% of pregnant women had a visit with a midwife in maternity unit, versus 26.6% in 2003. Deliveries occurred in large public hospitals more and more frequently. The increase in caesarean sections was no longer significant between 2003 and 2010. In general medical decisions during pregnancy and delivery were closer to professional recommendations in 2010 than in the previous years. Live births before 37 weeks increased steadily from 5.4% in 1995 to 6.6% in 2010, but the proportion of births below 2500g or under the 10th percentile stopped increasing since 2003.
Conclusion: Routine national perinatal surveys highlight major trends in maternal characteristics, obstetric practice, organisation of services and perinatal health.
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