Turkey's rising trend in Cesarean section: who are these women?

Pelin Cagatay Seckiner, Hacettepe University
Sabahat Tezcan, Hacettepe University
Hande Tunckanat, Hacettepe University

The number of women having babies born by caesarean section is growing exponentially in many parts of the world. On the other hand, World Health Organization aims to reduce the rates of caesarean section and recommends that the caesarean section rate should not be higher than 15 percent of all births. Turkey is one of the countries experiencing high levels of caesarean deliveries in the last 15 years. According to the data sets of quinquennial nationwide demographic surveys conducted by Hacettepe University Institute of Population Studies, the latest of which was performed in 2008, a rising trend has been observed in caesarean section deliveries between the period of 1993-2008. The results of the most recent demographic and health survey (TDHS-2008) indicate that the caesarean deliveries have reached 37 percent of all births in Turkey. Concerning the previous demographic and health surveys conducted in 1993, 1998 and 2003, caesarean section has been found to be 8.1, 13.9 and 21.1 percent, respectively. Descriptive analyses derived from the data sets of 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2008 Turkey Demographic and Health Surveys have shown that caesarean section is common among women in older age groups, residing in urban areas and socio-economically more developed regions, having higher educational levels and living in higher wealth quintiles. Accordingly, the aim of this study is to identify the women who contribute to the rising trend of caesarean deliveries during the last 15 years based on socio-demographic characteristics and some health variables.

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Presented in Session 74: Sexual and reproductive health: maternity