Rome, May 27 - The number of Italian women choosing to have children at a later age is one of the highest in Europe, as is the number of women giving birth via caesarean section, according to a report released Monday. Fully 34.7% of births in Italy in 2010 were to mothers over age 35, one of the largest figures in Europe, according to the Report on Perinatal Health in Europe (Euro-Peristat), which analyzes data from 29 European countries, measuring 30 indicators of maternal and child health. Spain was second highest, with 29.5% of births to women over 35, followed by Ireland at 27.9%. Considered another way, Italy had one of the lowest rates of birth to mothers under age 20, according to the report. In terms of the number of caesarean sections, Italy reported the second most, at 38% of births in 2010, well behind Cyprus with 52%. The report also found that the number of these procedures is increasing across Europe, except in Sweden and Finland, where instead there has been a reduction.
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di Giovanni Pastore