Factors associated with compliance of folic acid consumption among pregnant women

Yael Yagur, Saja Anaboussi, Mordechai Hallak, Alon Shrim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The prevalence of major malformations in the general population is estimated at 5% of all live births. Prenatal diagnosis is an important scientific tool that allows reliable consultation and improves pregnancy outcome. In 2008, congenital malformations were the leading cause of death in Muslim infants and the second cause of death in Jewish infants in Israel. It is known that folic acid consumption prior to pregnancy decreases the rate of several fetal malformations. Objectives: To assess the folic acid consumption rate and to characterize variables associated with its use among pregnant women attending a rural medical center. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was conducted at our institution. Pregnant women in the second or third trimester of pregnancy or within 3 days postpartum were interviewed. The main variable measured was the use of folic acid. Demographic variables and the rate of prenatal testing were assessed. A secondary analysis of the population that reported no consumption of folic acid was carried out. Results: Out of 382 women who participated in the study, 270 (71%) reported consumption of folic acid. Using a multivariate analysis model, we found that maternal education, planning of pregnancy, and low parity were independent predictors of folic acid consumption. Women who were not consuming folic acid tended to perform fewer prenatal tests during pregnancy. Conclusions: High maternal educational level, planning of pregnancy, and low parity are related to high consumption rates of folic acid. Women who were not taking folic acid performed fewer prenatal tests during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-498
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume19
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Fetal malformation
  • Folic acid
  • Neural tube defects (NTD)
  • Prenatal diagnosis

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