Folic acid use started prior to pregnancy confers a decreased risk of neural tube defects, and yet 20-50% of pregnancies are unplanned. We sought to determine whether medical providers order folic acid (FA) or folic acid-containing multivitamins (MVI) for their non-pregnant female patients of childbearing age. This is a cross-sectional study using data from the CDC's National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) (2005 and 2006). Among non-pregnant, female patients of childbearing age (15-44), the proportion of preventive visits during which a provider ordered FA/MVI supplements was determined and compared to pregnant patients. Next, the rates of FA/MVI orders were examined according to race/ethnicity, age, insurance status, region of the country, provider type, contraceptive care, income and education. Analyses were conducted using SAS-callable Sudaan to account for survey design and to obtain population estimates. There were 4,634 preventive visits for non-pregnant women of childbearing age, representing 32.1 million visits nationally. Of these visits, 7.2% included provider-ordered FA/MVI. Multivariable logistic regression analyses revealed that provider-ordered FA/MVI was most common for women ages 30-34, who receive Medicaid, and whose race/ethnicity was other than White, Black or Hispanic. Preventive care visits represent an important venue for counseling regarding the benefits of FA for women of childbearing age, but appear to be under-utilized in all women. Our findings suggest that annually there may be over 29 million missed opportunities to recommend folic acid to non-pregnant women seeking preventive care.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To estimate the incidence of adverse drug events (ADEs) associated with health care visits among U.S. adults across all ambulatory settings.
We analyzed data from two nationally representative probability sample surveys: the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and the National Hospital and Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. From 2005 to 2007, the presence of an ADE was specifically defined, requested, and recorded in these surveys.
Secondary data analysis.
An estimated 13.5 million ADE-related visits occurred between 2005 and 2007 (0.5 percent of all visits), the large majority (72 percent) occurring in outpatient practice settings, and the remaining in emergency departments. Older patients (age ≥65 years) had the highest age-specific ADE rate, 3.8 ADEs per 10,000 persons per year. In adjusted analyses of outpatient visits, there was an increased odds of an ADE-related visit with increased medication burden (odds ratio [OR] for six to eight medications compared with no medications, OR 3.83 [2.20, 6.65]), and increased odds of ADEs associated with primary care visits compared with specialty visits (OR 2.22 [1.70, 2.89]).
Approximately 4.5 million ambulatory visits related to ADEs occur each year, the majority of these in outpatient office practices. A greater focus on ADE prevention and detection is warranted among patients receiving multiple medications in primary care practices.
Health Services Research 05/2011; 46(5):1517-33. DOI:10.1111/j.1475-6773.2011.01269.x · 2.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Neural tube defects are the second most common congenital anomaly in the United States, although their incidence may be decreased by periconception folic acid supplementation. A new oral contraceptive containing drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol plus levomefolate calcium was formulated to decrease the risk of neural tube defects in pregnancies conceived while taking or shortly after discontinuing this pill. AREAS COVERED: Because of its novelty, very few studies have been performed to evaluate the efficacy, side effects and safety related to contraception, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and acne; therefore, literature evaluating similar contraceptives without levomefolate is reviewed. Additionally, we review studies evaluating the addition of levomefolate calcium to oral contraceptives containing 3 mg drospirenone and either 20 or 30 μg ethinyl estradiol. To date, no study has been performed to evaluate the effect this new oral contraceptive has on reducing the incidence of neural tube defects. EXPERT OPINION: This new pill has similar contraceptive efficacy, side effect, safety and benefits profile to other drospirenone-containing contraceptives. While also approved to prevent neural tube defects, no studies validate this claim and physician time is better spent counseling women, regardless of contraceptive choice, on the importance of folic acid supplementation during the child-bearing years.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite the institution of mandatory folic acid fortification in the US, folate deficiencies still occur and are associated with an increased risk of several conditions. Since little is known regarding the relationship between folate status and other clinical, demographic, and healthcare-related characteristics, the objective of the study was to compare healthcare-related characteristics among US child-bearing age women with low vs normal red blood cell (RBC) folate levels.
Data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were used to conduct a retrospective cohort study. Women (aged 18-45 when surveyed) were categorized in two cohorts for comparison: normal RBC folate level (≥ 140 ng/ml, NFL) and low RBC folate level (<140 ng/ml, LFL).
Of the 2816 subjects, 5.9% were assigned to the LFL cohort and were significantly younger (28 vs 30 years, p=0.01); a greater proportion were 18-25 years old (55.7% vs 39.9%, p<0.001) or African-American (55.1% vs 22.3%, p<0.01). A lower proportion of LFL women were insured (67.3% vs 75.5%, p=0.01) with low rates of private insurance (39.5% vs 53.1%, p<0.01), while Medicaid/SCHIP coverage was similar (16.8% vs 15.1%, p=0.56). Predictors of low folate levels included aged 36-45 years (OR: 2.14 [95% CI: 1.04, 4.39]) and never being married (2.65 [1.34, 5.24]), while a household income ≥ $75,000 reduced the likelihood of having low folate levels (0.20 [0.06, 0.73]).
The proportion of women with low folate levels was small, with the sample size limiting the ability to adjust for other factors during analysis. Medical histories were based on patient interviews and are subject to recall bias.
LFL women are younger and have low rates of private insurance coverage compared to women with normal folate levels. Differences in age, marital status, and household income are associated with folate status.
Journal of Medical Economics 03/2012; 15(5):807-16. DOI:10.3111/13696998.2012.680997 · 1.58 Impact Factor
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