Socioeconomic risk factors for labour induction in the United Kingdom

on 25 February 2021

Li X, Gao R, Dai X, et al (2020), BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth vol 20, no 146, 6 March 2020.


Labour induction is a childbirth intervention experienced by a growing number of women globally each year. While the maternal and socioeconomic indicators of labour induction are well documented in countries like the United States, considerably less research has been done into which women have a higher likelihood of labour induction in the United Kingdom. This paper explores the relationship between labour induction and maternal demographic, socioeconomic, and health indicators by parity in the United Kingdom. 


Logistic regression analyses were conducted using the first sweep of the Millennium Cohort Study, including a wide range of socioeconomic factors such as maternal educational attainment, marital status, and electoral ward deprivation, in addition to maternal and infant health indicators. 


In fully adjusted models, nulliparous and multiparous women with fewer educational qualifications and those living in disadvantaged places had a greater likelihood of labour induction than women with higher qualifications and women in advantaged electoral wards. 


This paper highlights which UK women are at higher risk of labour induction and how this risk varies by socioeconomic status, demonstrating that less advantaged women are more likely to experience labour induction. This evidence could help health care professionals identify which patients may be at higher risk of childbirth intervention. (Author) 

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P44 Poverty and socioeconomic factors | (493) abstracts 

This search pack contains information on the effects of low income, employment status and educational achievement on maternal health outcomes. Excludes homelessness (see search pack MS25). 

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