Brazilian regional differences and factors associated with the prevalence of cesarean sections

<div><p>Abstract Introduction: Brazil presents high C-section prevalence rates. Several factors may be associated with such high rates. Objective: To observe and analyze factors associated with the prevalence of cesarean sections in Brazil, according to their occurrence in Brazilian regions. Methods: An ecological study, having C-section as the outcome, from 1990 to 2013, in Brazilian regions, using data from the Brazilian National Health Survey, 2013. Records of women in their reproductive period, aged between 18 and 49 years, were included, totaling a sample of 16,175 women. Descriptive and bivariate analysis was carried out with logistic regression. Results: The prevalence of cesarean sections in Brazil was 53.03%. Vaginal delivery was more prevalent in the North (52.74%) and Northeast (51.06%) regions, while C-section was more prevalent in the Southeast (59.32%), South (56.96%) and Midwest (61.48%) regions. Over the years, an increased probability of cesarean sections was observed, particularly in the following regions: Northeast (2.21 times more, CI95%: 1,42 - 3,46) and South (2.75 times more, CI95%: 1,44 - 5,23). Women with higher levels of education are 2.05 times (CI95%: 1.27 - 3.30) more likely to have a C-section, especially those in the Northern and Southern regions. In the Northeast, this probability increased, regardless of the level of education. Conclusion: The prevalence of cesarean sections in Brazil is high and, over the years, factors such as level of education, maternal age and having health insurance, seem to contribute to the increase in surgical deliveries.</p></div>