Review of socioeconomic risk factors for cesarean births: a population-based study

Review of socioeconomic risk factors for cesarean births: a population-based study


  • Gamal Sayed Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. women's wellness and research center. Hamad Medical City Hamad Medical corporation WWRC
  • Husam Salama
  • Salah Abumhara Hamad Medical corporation WWRC
  • Sawsan AL.Obaidly
  • Mai Al-Qubaisi
  • Hilal Al-Rifai


Cesarean section, population-based study, risk factors, socioeconomic factors, vaginal delivery.


Objectives: The reasons for increased cesarean section (CS) rates are complex and multifactorial. The goal of this study was to look at different social and economic factors that might be causing more cases of CS in the population. Study design: A retrospective population-based cohort study. Data was taken from the Perinatal Neonatal Outcomes Research study in the Arabian Gulf (PEARL study) registry. Data from 60,728 live births ≥ 24 weeks of gestation were analyzed. In this study, various socioeconomic factors, such as maternal nationality, religion, educational level, employment status, parental income, consanguinity, housing, preterm birth, and tall stature, were examined for women undergoing cesarean section (CS) and their economic outcomes. Women who underwent vaginal delivery (VD) were compared. There are risks associated with pregnancy, smoking, assisted conception, and prenatal care. Results: 60,728 births ≥ 24 weeks gestation were included in the analysis. 17,535 women delivered by CS (28.9%). Women with university-level ­education and above were more likely to deliver by CS (61%), as compared to illiterate women or women with basic education at elementary or secondary levels (OR 0.73, CI 95%: P: <0.0001). Working women were more likely to deliver by CS (OR 1.40, CI 95%, P value <0.0001). Women living in rented houses were less likely to achieve a normal delivery (71.8%) (OR 1.40, CI 95%; P: <0.0001) as compared to women living in owned houses (74.7%). Women over 20 years old tended to achieve more VD compared to women less than 20 years old. P value <0.0001. Smoking was associated with lower chances of VD, with 42.4% of smokers delivered by CS compared to 28.3% of non-smokers (OR 1.87, CI 95%; P: <0.0001). Assisted conception was associated with higher CS rates as compared to spontaneous conceptions (OR 0.39; P: <0.0001). We found no statistically significant differences in how babies were born based on the mother’s nationality, the father’s job, or the mother’s income. Conclusions: Higher education, employed mothers, smoking, and living in rented houses were socioeconomic factors associated with a higher rate of CS in our population. Furthermore, women who had regular antenatal care were more at risk for delivery by cesarean section, which could be related to other comorbidities increasing the likelihood of cesarean birth rather than antenatal care itself. In our population, assisted reproduction was associated with a higher probability of cesarean delivery.

Author Biography

Husam Salama




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How to Cite

Sayed G, Salama H, Abumhara S, AL.Obaidly S, Al-Qubaisi M, Al-Rifai H. Review of socioeconomic risk factors for cesarean births: a population-based study. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2023 Jun. 14 [cited 2024 Jul. 20];94(3):e2023082. Available from: