How many pregnant women in Christchurch are using folic acid supplements in early pregnancy?
ABSTRACT To determine the proportion of pregnant women in Christchurch using folic acid supplements in early pregnancy. To evaluate the level of current knowledge relating to folic acid amongst pregnant women. To determine the main sources from which this information was gained.
A short questionnaire was administered to 191 pregnant women in Christchurch during antenatal visits with their lead maternity carer. The survey contained questions relating to knowledge about folic acid and use together with sources of information regarding folic acid. Obstetric and demographic details were also collected.
The response rate was 95.5%. Ninety-one per cent (174/191) of participants had heard of folic acid and, of these, 63% knew that folic acid reduces the risk of spina bifida. Of the 191 participants in the study, 118(62%) took folic acid supplements at some stage of their pregnancy, however, only 33(17%) had taken periconceptual folic acid supplements. Of the 44% of all women in the study with a planned pregnancy, only 35% had taken folic acid supplements periconceptually. Of those women with an unplanned pregnancy (55%), only 2.8% had taken a folic acid supplement periconceptually. The main sources of advice for women relating to folic acid were general practitioners (48%) or media advertising, either in the form of a magazine, or health pamphlet or television promotion (20%).
The results of this study indicate that the level of knowledge amongst women of child-bearing age relating to folic acid is relatively high compared with other countries. Despite this high level of knowledge, only a small percentage of women are actually consuming a folic acid supplement during the recommended periconceptual period due in part to the high proportion of unplanned pregnancies. These results emphasize the need for an effective public health strategy to ensure that all women of child-bearing age have access to an adequate folic acid intake.
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ABSTRACT: Introduction: Half a million of newborns are annually born with neural tube defect around theworld. Folic acid intake prevents neural tube defects in newborns significantly. Therefore, this studywas performed to determine the pattern of folic acid intake during pregnancy.Materials and Methods: This descriptive-analytic study was performed using questionnaire andinterview. Three hundred and twenty-two women who had terminated their pregnancies at Fatemiehhospital were participated in the study.Results: The results showed that 81.4% of women had used folic acid during pregnancy. 23.9% ofwomen took it from the first month of pregnancy and 16.4% after the third month. Most of women hadtaken it for more than three months. The lack of knowledge about Folic acid necessity (73.3%) was themain reason for the women who had not taken folic acid during pregnancy. Folic acid intake duringpregnancy was significantly associated with education (P=0.004), employment (P=0.052), parity(P=0.000), the number of abortions (P=0.046), the number of newborns with neural tube defects(P=0.034). Also, there was a significant relationship between the use of folic acid during pregnancyand planned pregnancies (P=0.006) and also prenatal care (P=0.047).Conclusion: Although most of women had taken folic acid during pregnancy, the time ofinitiation was not right. Therefore, it seems that it is necessary to educate women about folic acidadvantages and its usage.Koomesh. 01/2009;
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ABSTRACT: To provide a basis for making recommendations on the potential to improve use of folic acid supplements in the UK, particularly among low-income and young women. Systematic reviews of relevant research from 1989 to May 2006 in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Twenty-six systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses were identified from the wider public health literature, and eighteen studies on the effectiveness of preconception interventions were included. Ninety studies were identified which were directly relevant to folic acid supplement intake. There were factors that are particularly associated with lower rates of use of folic acid supplements. One of the most important of these is the link with unintended pregnancy, followed by age, socio-economic and ethnic group. Integrated campaigns can increase the use of folic acid supplements to some extent. Research trials indicated that: (i) printed resources and the mass media used in isolation are not effective in the longer term; and (ii) health-care-based initiatives can be effective and are more likely to be successful if they include making supplements easily available. Campaigns and interventions have the potential to exacerbate socio-economic inequalities in folic acid use. One way of addressing this is to include elements that specifically target vulnerable women. To achieve and maintain an effect, they need to be based on good health promotion practice and to be sustained over a long period. However, even high-quality campaigns that increase use result in under half of women in the target group taking supplements.Public Health Nutrition 09/2008; 11(8):807-21. · 2.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Primary prevention of most folate-responsive neural tube defects (NTDs) may not require 400 μg folic acid/day but may be achieved by attaining a high maternal folate status. Using RBC folate ≥906 nmol/L as a marker for NTD risk reduction, the study aimed to determine the change in blood folate concentrations in reproductive age women in response to long-term folic acid supplementation at 400 µg/day and 140 µg/day (dose designed to mimic the average daily folic acid intake received from New Zealand's proposed mandatory bread fortification program). Participants were randomly assigned to a daily folic acid supplement of 140 µg (n = 49), 400 µg (n = 48) or placebo (n = 47) for 40 weeks. RBC folate concentrations were measured at baseline, and after 6, 12, 29 and 40 weeks. At 40 weeks, the overall prevalence of having a RBC folate <906 nmol/L decreased to 18% and 35% in the 400 µg and 140 µg groups, respectively, while remaining relatively unchanged at 58% in the placebo group. After 40 weeks, there was no evidence of a difference in RBC folate between the two treatment groups (P = 0.340), nor was there evidence of a difference in the odds of a RBC folate <906 nmol/L (P = 0.078). In conclusion, the average daily intake of folic acid received from the proposed fortification program would increase RBC folate concentrations in reproductive age women to levels associated with a low risk of NTDs.Nutrients 01/2011; 3(1):49-62. · 2.07 Impact Factor