Association of acculturation with cesarean section among Latinas

Matern Child Health J. 2005 Mar;9(1):11-20. doi: 10.1007/s10995-005-2447-3.


Objectives: Examine the association of acculturation and cesarean section after adjusting for clinical and non-clinical factors that could influence clinical discretion in performing the surgery.

Methods: A sample of 2102 low-risk, low-income primarily Mexican Latinas in San Diego County was divided into two groups: primiparas and multiparas. For each parity group, logistic regression was used to assess the association of acculturation and cesarean section.

Results: Among multiparous Latinas, the risk of cesarean section for highly acculturated women exceeded the risk for the less-acculturated women, but the result was reverse for primiparous women. The adjusted relative odds of cesarean section were twice as high [OR 2.1, 95%CI 1.1-4.1] for multiparous US-born Latinas relative to multiparous Spanish-speaking women born in Mexico. While for primiparous women this same comparison showed US-born Latinas to be approximately half as likely to have a cesarean delivery [OR 0.4, 95%CI 0.2-0.7].

Conclusions: In order to reduce the chances of unnecessary cesarean sections among Latinas, the role of acculturation in women who have and have not already given birth needs to be investigated further.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adult
  • California
  • Cesarean Section / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Mexican Americans
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • Parity*
  • Poverty
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care