Cost-effectiveness of elective induction of labor at 41 weeks in nulliparous women

Anjali J. Kaimal, Sarah E. Little, Anthony O. Odibo, David M. Stamilio, William A. Grobman, Elisa F. Long, Douglas K. Owens, Aaron B. Caughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Objective To investigate the cost-effectiveness of elective induction of labor at 41 weeks in nulliparous women. Study Design A decision analytic model comparing induction of labor at 41 weeks vs expectant management with antenatal testing until 42 weeks in nulliparas was designed. Baseline assumptions were derived from the literature as well as from analysis of the National Birth Cohort dataset and included an intrauterine fetal demise rate of 0.12% in the 41st week and a cesarean rate of 27% in women induced at 41 weeks. One-way and multiway sensitivity analyses were conducted to examine the robustness of the findings. Results Compared with expectant management, induction of labor is cost-effective with an incremental cost of $10,945 per quality-adjusted life year gained. Induction of labor at 41 weeks also resulted in a lower rate of adverse obstetric outcomes, including neonatal demise, shoulder dystocia, meconium aspiration syndrome, and severe perineal lacerations. Conclusion Elective induction of labor at 41 weeks is cost-effective and improves outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137.e1-137.e9
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • elective induction
  • induction of labor
  • postterm pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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