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Women's awareness and periconceptional use of folic acid: data from a large European survey.

Bitzer J, von Stenglin A, Bannemerschult R - Int J Womens Health (2013)

Bottom Line: Of the respondents, 58% had at least one biological child, and of these 38% reported that their first pregnancy was not planned.Overall, 70% reported that they had heard of folic acid and 40% stated that they knew the benefits of folic acid.A large proportion of European women of child-bearing age in this survey were unaware that periconceptional folic acid supplementation reduces the risk of birth defects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Women's Hospital of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT

Objective: To investigate the awareness and use of folic acid in European women of child-bearing age, particularly in the setting of pregnancy and pregnancy planning.

Methods: Between November 2009 and December 2009, women aged 15-49 years old from 18 European countries completed a 30-minute structured questionnaire either online or via face-to-face interviews. To achieve nationally representative samples for each country quotas were set for age, education, income, and regional distribution.

Results: A total of 22,925 women participated in the survey. Of the respondents, 58% had at least one biological child, and of these 38% reported that their first pregnancy was not planned. Nearly 60% of women who planned their pregnancy indicated that they had stopped using their method of contraception without first consulting a doctor or another health care professional. Overall, 70% reported that they had heard of folic acid and 40% stated that they knew the benefits of folic acid. However, when prompted to indicate which diseases and/or birth defects folic acid can protect against, only 17% knew that folic acid can reduce the risk of neural tube defects/spina bifida.

Conclusions: A large proportion of European women of child-bearing age in this survey were unaware that periconceptional folic acid supplementation reduces the risk of birth defects.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The proportion of European women taking folic acid at the time of the survey.Note: European aggregated data are based on weighted samples (unweighted n number shown in brackets).Abbreviation: n, number.
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f5-ijwh-5-201: The proportion of European women taking folic acid at the time of the survey.Note: European aggregated data are based on weighted samples (unweighted n number shown in brackets).Abbreviation: n, number.

Mentions: In total, only 37% of the respondents had taken folic acid at some point (7% at the time of the survey); the most common reason given was because of advice from a doctor or other health care professional (52%). This was followed by the woman being pregnant (33%) or planning to become pregnant (18%). Only 28% of those women currently trying to become pregnant (versus 55% of pregnant women) were taking a folic acid supplement even though guidelines recommend that all these women should take a folate supplement every day (Figure 5). However, adherence to folic acid intake was reported to be low; only 56% of women using folic acid while trying to become pregnant reported that they took their supplement every day; 38% reported that, on average, they missed 1–2 out of 7 days, and 6% reported missing ≥ 3 days out of 7. This adherence level was comparable to women using folic acid, who were already pregnant; only 63% took their supplement every day, while 30% missed 1–2 days and 7% missed ≥ 3 out of 7 days.


Women's awareness and periconceptional use of folic acid: data from a large European survey.

Bitzer J, von Stenglin A, Bannemerschult R - Int J Womens Health (2013)

The proportion of European women taking folic acid at the time of the survey.Note: European aggregated data are based on weighted samples (unweighted n number shown in brackets).Abbreviation: n, number.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3643291&req=5

f5-ijwh-5-201: The proportion of European women taking folic acid at the time of the survey.Note: European aggregated data are based on weighted samples (unweighted n number shown in brackets).Abbreviation: n, number.
Mentions: In total, only 37% of the respondents had taken folic acid at some point (7% at the time of the survey); the most common reason given was because of advice from a doctor or other health care professional (52%). This was followed by the woman being pregnant (33%) or planning to become pregnant (18%). Only 28% of those women currently trying to become pregnant (versus 55% of pregnant women) were taking a folic acid supplement even though guidelines recommend that all these women should take a folate supplement every day (Figure 5). However, adherence to folic acid intake was reported to be low; only 56% of women using folic acid while trying to become pregnant reported that they took their supplement every day; 38% reported that, on average, they missed 1–2 out of 7 days, and 6% reported missing ≥ 3 days out of 7. This adherence level was comparable to women using folic acid, who were already pregnant; only 63% took their supplement every day, while 30% missed 1–2 days and 7% missed ≥ 3 out of 7 days.

Bottom Line: Of the respondents, 58% had at least one biological child, and of these 38% reported that their first pregnancy was not planned.Overall, 70% reported that they had heard of folic acid and 40% stated that they knew the benefits of folic acid.A large proportion of European women of child-bearing age in this survey were unaware that periconceptional folic acid supplementation reduces the risk of birth defects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Women's Hospital of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT

Objective: To investigate the awareness and use of folic acid in European women of child-bearing age, particularly in the setting of pregnancy and pregnancy planning.

Methods: Between November 2009 and December 2009, women aged 15-49 years old from 18 European countries completed a 30-minute structured questionnaire either online or via face-to-face interviews. To achieve nationally representative samples for each country quotas were set for age, education, income, and regional distribution.

Results: A total of 22,925 women participated in the survey. Of the respondents, 58% had at least one biological child, and of these 38% reported that their first pregnancy was not planned. Nearly 60% of women who planned their pregnancy indicated that they had stopped using their method of contraception without first consulting a doctor or another health care professional. Overall, 70% reported that they had heard of folic acid and 40% stated that they knew the benefits of folic acid. However, when prompted to indicate which diseases and/or birth defects folic acid can protect against, only 17% knew that folic acid can reduce the risk of neural tube defects/spina bifida.

Conclusions: A large proportion of European women of child-bearing age in this survey were unaware that periconceptional folic acid supplementation reduces the risk of birth defects.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus