Predictors of preconceptional folic acid or multivitamin supplement use: A cross-sectional study of Danish pregnancy planners

Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
Clinical Epidemiology 10/2012; 4(1):259-65. DOI: 10.2147/CLEP.S35463
Source: PubMed


Compliance with the Danish preconceptional folic acid (FA) recommendation - a daily supplement of 400 μg - is reported to be poor. Uncertainty remains, however, about the prevalence of compliers and health-related predictors of compliance in the preconceptional period.
We used self-reported baseline data from 5383 women, aged 18-40 years, enrolled in an Internet-based prospective cohort study of Danish pregnancy planners during 2007-2011. We estimated the prevalence proportions of FA or multivitamin (MV) use in relation to selected sociodemographic, lifestyle, reproductive, and medical characteristics. Multivariate binomial regression was used to obtain prevalence proportion differences with 95% confidence intervals for each level of study predictors, adjusted for all other predictors.
Overall, 7.7% of women used FA supplements, 20.4% used MV supplements, 34.0% used both, 1.5% used other single vitamins or minerals, and 36.4% did not use any dietary supplements. The prevalence of FA or MV supplement use was higher among older women, women with higher education and income, and women with healthy lifestyle factors such as being a nonsmoker, nondrinker, physically active, maintaining a normal body mass index and having regular pap smears. Greater intercourse frequency and a history of spontaneous abortion were also positively associated with FA or MV supplement use. We found no clear association between use of FA or MV supplements and a diagnosis of hypertension, diabetes, thyroid disease, pelvic inflammatory disease, or chlamydia.
A large proportion of pregnancy planners do not use FA or MV supplements. Pregnancy planners with generally risky lifestyle behaviors are less likely to comply with the FA recommendation.

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Available from: Anders Hammerich Riis, Oct 28, 2014
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    • "A different study conducted through the web on a cohort of women of reproductive age investigated associations between preconception lifestyle and fertility, showing an effect of overweight and physical activity on fecundability [19-22]. Moreover, risk factors such as smoking, alcohol intake, obesity and physical inactivity reduce adherence to the preconception recommendation of folic acid intake [23]. Recently, an innovative computerized animated character has been developed and successfully used to identify and modify preconception risks in a pilot women community [16]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Preconception care may be an efficacious tool to reduce risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcomes that are associated with lifestyles and health status before pregnancy. We conducted a web-based cohort study in Italian women planning a pregnancy to assess whether a tailored web intervention may change knowledge and behaviours associated with risks for adverse pregnancy outcomes. The study was entirely conducted on the web on a cohort of Italian women of childbearing age. Data collected at baseline on health status, lifestyles and knowledge of risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcomes were used for generating a tailored document including recommendations for folic acid supplementation, obesity and underweight, smoking, alcohol consumption, vaccinations, chronic and genetic diseases, exposure to medications. Prevalence of risk factors and knowledge was assessed 6 months after the intervention. Logistic regression models were used to explore the factors associated with risk factors after the intervention. Of the 508 enrolled women, 282 (55.5%) completed the study after 6 months since the delivery of tailored recommendations. At baseline, 48% of the participants took folic acid supplementation (95% CI 43.2; 51.9) and 69% consumed alcohol (95% CI 64.7; 72.9). At the follow up 71% of the participants had a preconception visit with a physician. Moreover we observed a decrease of alcohol consumption (-46.5% 95% CI -53.28; -38.75) and of the proportion of women not taking folic acid supplementation (-23.4% 95% CI -31.0; 15.36). We observed an improvement in knowledge of the information about the preconception behaviours to prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes (20.9% 95% CI 14.6%; 27.1%). Having a preconception visit during follow up was significally associated to an increase in folic acid supplementation (OR 2.53 95% CI 1.40; 4.60). Our results suggest that a tailored web intervention may improve general preconception health in women planning a pregnancy. A web preconception intervention may be integrated with classic preconception care by health professionals. Clinical trials should be conducted to confirm these findings.
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    ABSTRACT: To estimate the national prevalence and analyse the factors associated with preconceptional folic acid supplementation, including maternal sociodemographic characteristics, region of residence, birth control use and chronic diseases requiring medical care before conception. Cross-sectional population-based study. All maternity units in France. A nationally representative sample of women giving birth in 2010 (n = 12,646). Data came from mothers' interviews 2-3 days after delivery. Statistical analyses included multivariable logistic regressions. Folic acid supplementation starting at least 1 month before conception. 14.8% (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 14.2-15.4) of women used folic acid before pregnancy; this percentage varied from 10.4% to 18.7% across regions. Supplementation was more frequent in primiparae, French citizens, women with higher educational levels and those needing medical monitoring or treatment before conception. Women who stopped contraception to become pregnant (75% of our population) used folic acid more often (intrauterine device or implant: 19%, pill: 17%, other methods which did not need medical monitoring: 17%) than other women (7%). The adjusted odds ratios were 3.3 (95% CI 2.6-4.3) for intrauterine device and implant, 2.2 (95% CI 1.8-2.6) for pill and 1.9 (95% CI 1.5-2.4) for other methods, compared with women who did not use birth control. The absence of preconceptional folic acid supplementation for most women, even those needing consultations with healthcare professionals before pregnancy, shows that campaigns to promote folic acid supplementation should address not only women but also healthcare professionals involved in birth control and obstetric care before pregnancy.
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Despite public health campaigns encouraging women to take a daily folic acid supplement, the proportion of reproductive age women, in the United States, who comply with this recommendation is less than optimal. The objective of this analysis was to identify predictors of preconceptional folic acid-containing supplement use to define subgroups of women who may benefit from targeted folic acid campaigns. Methods: This study included 6570 mothers of live born infants from the control population of National Birth Defects Prevention Study (1997-2005). Logistic regression analyses were used to identify predictors of preconceptional folic acid supplementation. A classification and regression tree (CART) analysis was used to define subgroups of women with different patterns of preconceptional folic acid supplementation. Results: Race/ethnicity, education, age at delivery, nativity, employment, income, number of dependents, smoking, and birth control use were significantly associated with preconceptional folic acid-containing supplement use. Based on a CART analysis, education, race/ethnicity, and age were the most distinguishing factors between women with different preconceptional supplementation patterns. Non-white women with <4 years of a college education were the least likely to use folic acid-containing supplements (11%). However, even in the most compliant subgroup (women with ≥4 years of college), only 60% of women supplemented with folic acid. Conclusion: These results demonstrate the need for continued efforts to increase folic acid supplementation among all reproductive aged women. However, the success of such efforts may be improved if maternal characteristics such as education, race/ethnicity, and age, are considered in the development of future interventions.
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