Folic acid supplementation in pregnant women.Dan Med Bull. 2010 Jan; 57(1):A4134.DM
Folic acid (FA) deficiency is associated with neural tube defects (NTD). In a non-risk pregnancy, The Danish National Board of Health recommends FA supplementation from planned pregnancy until three months after conception. We explored pregnant women's knowledge about and actual supplementation with FA and related this to education, number of pregnancies and age.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Eighty-four consecutive pregnant women with a midwife consultation were included in the period 25-28 August 2008. All filled in a unified questionnaire.
82% had knowledge of FA supplementation and 89% received FA supplementation. 51% followed national recommendations. We found a statistically significant correlation between higher educational level and knowledge about FA supplementation, actual supplementation of FA and FA supplementation in accordance with national recommendations. No statistical associations were found between number of pregnancies or age and any FA-related parameters. Family, friends, general practitioner (GP) and the internet were the main information sources.
Correct FA supplementation is quite low; conversely, knowledge about and actual FA supplementation are fairly high. Further intervention is necessary to increase the level of correct FA supplementation. Women with a low educational level--which may herald low socio-economic status--seem to form a suitable target group for information campaigns. Multiple pregnancies or higher age should not be perceived as indicators of a higher information level. Dissemination of information to the pregnant women including family, friends, GPs or the internet is recommended.