Objective: This study examines the association between the likelihood of cesarean section (CS) and the degree of urbanization in Taiwan, exploring possible explanations for the difference. Study design: The database used in this study was the Taiwan 2004 National Health Insurance Research Database. A total of 200,207 singleton deliveries fulfilled our criteria and were included in our study. The urbanization level of cities/towns where parturients resided at the time of delivery was stratified into seven categories. A multilevel logistic regression model was applied to examine the relative likelihood of CS by urbanization level after adjusting for parturient, physician and hospital characteristics. Results: There was an upward trend in the CS rate with advancing urbanization level; the CS rates for urbanization level 1 (most urbanized) through 7 (least urbanized) were 33.7, 32.3, 30.4, 30.2 29.7, 29.5, and 28.6%, respectively. Compared with participants living at the highest urbanization level, the adjusted odds of a CS were 0.91 (95% CI = 0.85-0.98, p = 0.014), 0.84 (95% CI = 0.78-0.91, p <0.001), 0.83 (95% CI = 0.68-0.88, p <0.001), 0.79 (95% CI = 0.72-0.86, p <0.001), and 0.70 (95% CI = 0.62-0.80, p <0.001) times, respectively, for those living in cities/towns ranked from the third highest to the lowest levels of urbanization. Conclusions: We conclude that higher urbanization levels were associated with higher odds of CS. Highly urbanized communities could therefore be targeted for policy intervention aimed at reducing the unnecessary CS rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-110
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • Cesarean section
  • Taiwan
  • Urbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Urbanization and the likelihood of a cesarean section'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this