[Awareness and knowledge of the use of folic acid in the prevention of neural tube defects: a survey of women living in Santiago, Chile].Rev Med Chil. 2007 Dec; 135(12):1551-7.RM
Wheat flour in Chile is fortified with folie acid and pregnant women are also supplemented with the vitamin, but the population level of knowledge or awareness about this vitamin and its use by pregnant women is unknown.
To assess the level of knowledge that postpartum women from Santiago de Chile have about folic acid.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
A questionnaire about folic acid and its effects on the prevention of neural tube defects was developed adapting questionnaires designed abroad. It was applied by medical students to puerperal women, hospitalized in public hospitals.
The questionnaire was applied to 342 women aged 26 +/- 7 years. Sixty one percent were housewives and 55% completed high school education. Forty seven percent of these women had heard about folic acid, 9.6% knew that it was able to prevent congenital defects and only one received an adequate supplementation during pregnancy. Women aged 25 to 34 years and those with an adequate medical care during pregnancy had a significantly better knowledge about folic acid and its role in the prevention of congenital anomalies. The more common means to receive information about folic acid were midwives (34%), mass media (28%) and doctors (20%). Two hundred eleven women (62%) agreed to take folic acid in a future gestation and 58% preferred to do so using fortified foods.
Post partum women from Santiago have a poor knowledge about the relevance of folic acid supplementation.