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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2018

High prevalence of cesarean section births in private sector health facilities- analysis of district level household survey-4 (DLHS-4) of India

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2018
Priyanka Singh, Gulfam Hashmi, Prafulla Kumar Swain



Worldwide rising cesarean section (CS) births is an issue of concern. In India, with increase in institutional deliveries there has also been an increase in cesarean section births. Aim of the study is to quantify the prevalence of cesarean section births in public and private health facility, and also to determine the factors associated with cesarean section births.


We analyzed data from district level household survey data 4 (DLHS-4) combined individual level dataset for 19 states/UTs of India comprising 24,398 deliveries resulting in 22,111 live births for year 2011. The percentages and Chi-square has been computed for the select variables viz. Socio demographic, maternal, antenatal care and delivery related based on type of births (CS Vs normal births). The multiple logistic regression model has been used to identify the potential risk factors associated with CS births.


Of 22,111 live birth analyzed 49.2% were delivered at public sector, 31.9% at private sector and 18.9% were home deliveries. Prevalence of CS births were 13.7% (95% CI; 13.0- 14.3%) and 37.9% (95% CI; 36.7- 39.0%) in the public and private sectors, respectively. Higher odds of CS births were observed with- delivery at private health facility (OR 3.79; 95% C.I 3.06-4.72), urban residence (OR 1.15; 95% C.I 1.00- 1.35), first delivery after 35 years of maternal age (OR 5.5; 95% C.I 1.85- 16.4), hypertension in pregnancy (OR 1.32; 95% C.I 1.06- 1.65) and breach presentation (OR 2.37; 95% C.I. 1.63- 3.43).


Our findings shows that CS births are nearly three times more in private as compared to public sector health facilities.The higher rates of CS births, especially in private sector, not only increase the cost of care but may pose unnecessary risks to women (when there is no indications for CS). The government of India need to take measures to strengthen existing public health facilities as well as ensure that cesarean sections are performed based upon medical indications in both public and private sector health facilities.
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