Purpose: We aimed to explore the relationship between physician characteristics and their prescribing behavior regarding category D and X drugs for pregnant women by using a population-based data set in Taiwan. Methods: The sampled population for the study included 14,430 women. These women received a total of 198,420 prescriptions during pregnancy. We performed multivariate logistic regression analysis by using generalized estimated equations to assess the odds ratio (OR) of the prescription for categories D and X drugs among doctors after adjusting for maternal age and chronic disease. Results: Of the total 198,420 prescriptions, 4.2% were prescribed category D and X drugs. The covariate-adjusted odds for physicians aged between 40 and 49 years and 50 and 59 years for prescribing category D and X drugs to pregnant women were 1.22 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.15-1.31) and 1.51 (95% CI, 1.40-1.64) times that of physicians aged between 30 and 39 years, respectively. Male physicians were less likely to prescribe category D and X drugs to pregnant women than female physicians (OR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.63-0.75). In addition, physicians specializing in "other" specialties were more likely (OR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.41-1.54) to prescribe category D and X drugs compared with those specializing in obstetrics/gynecology, whereas physicians practicing in central Taiwan were less likely (OR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.80-0.89) than their counterparts in other regions of Taiwan to prescribe category D and X drugs. Conclusions: We conclude that physician characteristics, including sex, age, specialty, and practice location, were associated with the prescription of category D and X drugs for pregnant women.
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