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Geographical variability and factors associated with caesarean section delivery in India: a comparative assessment of Bihar and Tamil Nadu
Authors: Avijit Roy, Pintu Paul, Pradip Chouhan, Margubur Rahaman, and Nanigopal Kapasia
Source: BMC Public Health, Vol. 21, No. 1; DOI:
Topic(s): Cesarean section
Spatial analysis
Country: Asia
Published: SEP 2021
Abstract: Background Caesarean section delivery is a major life-saving obstetric surgical intervention for mothers and babies from pregnancy and childbirth related complications. This paper attempts to investigate the geographical variations and correlating factors of caesarean section delivery in India, particularly focusing on the states of Bihar and Tamil Nadu, accounting for one of the lowest and highest prevalence states of caesarean section delivery respectively. Methods This study is based on secondary data, collected from the fourth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), 2015–16. We utilized 190,898 women aged 15–49 years who had a living child during the past 5 years preceding the survey. In this study, caesarean section delivery was the outcome variable. A variety of demographic, socio-economic, and pregnancy- and delivery-related variables were considered as explanatory variables. Descriptive statistics, bivariate percentage distribution, Pearson’s Chi-square test, and multivariate binary logistic regression models were employed to draw the inferences from data. Results Of participants, about 19% of women had undergone caesarean section delivery in the country. The state-wise distribution shows that Telangana (60%) followed by Andhra Pradesh (42%) and Tamil Nadu (36%) represented the topmost states in caesarean delivery, while Bihar (7%), Madhya Pradesh (10%), and Jharkhand (11%) placed at the bottom end. Multivariate logistic models show that the likelihood of caesarean delivery was higher among older women (35–49 years), women with higher levels of education, Muslims, women belonging to the upper quintiles of the household wealth, and those who received antenatal care (ANC), experienced pregnancy loss and delivery complications. Moreover, the odds of caesarean section delivery were remarkably greater for the private health sector than the public health sector in both focused states: Bihar (odds ratio [OR] = 12.84; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 10.90, 15.13) and Tamil Nadu (OR = 2.90; 95% CI: 2.54, 3.31). Conclusion Findings of this study suggest that improvement in female education, providing economic incentives, and spreading awareness through mass media could raise the caesarean section delivery among women whose vaginal delivery could be unsafe for them as well as for their babies. Moreover, providing adequate ANC and well-equipped public healthcare services would facilitate caesarean delivery among needy women.