ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -

A new report finds the rate of cesarean section deliveries for new mothers varies widely in Minnesota and depends on the health care provider.

Statewide, the C-section rate for first-time mothers is about 26 percent for the year ending in June 2012. The report by the nonprofit MN Community Measurement says the rate at some clinics is as high as 51 percent. Four health care providers were highlighted for C-section rates of 17 percent or less.

Some doctors and health care researchers are concerned that while the C-section rate has grown recently, it hasn't resulted in improved outcomes. Doctors might recommend a C-section when a vaginal birth could endanger the baby or mother.

The report doesn't explain why some clinics perform more C-sections. The St. Paul Pioneer Press says the Minnesota Department of Health commissioned the study.