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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 93, Issue 4, pp 259–263 | Cite as

Pregnancy Planning: A Determinant of Folic Acid Supplements Use for the Primary Prevention of Neural Tube Defects

  • Pascale Morin
  • Philippe De Wals
  • Denise St-Cyr-Tribble
  • Théophile Niyonsenga
  • Hélène Payette
Article

Abstract

Objective: Daily consumption of supplements containing 400 μg of folic acid in the periconception period may reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) by as much as 70%. However, despite explicit recommendations, folic acid consumption among women likely to become pregnant remains low. The objectives of this study were: to evaluate women’s knowledge and beliefs with regard to folic acid; to estimate the frequency of vitamin supplement consumption; and to identify its determinants during the periconception period.

Methods: In 1999–2000, a questionnaire was completed by 1,240 pregnant women in 10 Quebec hospitals.

Results: Seventy percent of the respondents were aware of the preventive role of folic acid but only 25% had taken the recommended dose of supplements during the periconception period. Supplement consumption is associated with the pregnancy planning intensity score (OR: 1.06; 95% CI: 1.02–1.11), knowledge score (OR: 1.11; 95% CI: 1.07–1.16) and belief in the usefulness of supplements (OR: 1.56; 95% CI: 1.02–2.39).

Conclusion: These results indicate that further efforts are needed to inform the population and promote the optimal use of folic acid supplements.

Résumé

Objectifs: La consommation journalière de suppléments contenant 400μg d’acide folique en période périconceptionnelle peut diminuer jusqu’à 70 % le risque d’anomalies de fermeture du tube neural (AFTN). Malgré des recommandations explicites, le niveau de consommation chez les femmes susceptibles de devenir enceintes demeure faible. Les objectifs de cette étude étaient d’évaluer les connaissances et les croyances des femmes en regard de l’acide folique ainsi que d’estimer leur fréquence de consommation de suppléments vitaminiques puis d’identifier les déterminants de cette consommation durant la période périconceptionnelle.

Méthode: En 1999–2000, lors d’une enquête, nous avons interrogé 1 240 femmes enceintes dans 10 hôpitaux du Québec.

Résultats: Soixante-dix pourcent des participantes connaissaient le rôle préventif de l’acide folique, mais seulement 25 % avaient pris des suppléments, à la dose recommandée, durant la période périconceptionnelle. La consommation de suppléments est associée au score d’intensité de la planification de la grossesse (OR: 1,06; 95 % IC: 1,02 à 1,11), au score de connaissances (OR: 1,11; 95 % IC: 1,07 à 1,16) et à la croyance en l’utilité des suppléments (OR: 1,56; 95% IC: 1,02 à 2,39).

Conclusion: Ces résultats indiquent que des efforts sont encore nécessaires pour informer la population et promouvoir l’utilisation optimale des suppléments d’acide folique.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pascale Morin
    • 1
  • Philippe De Wals
    • 2
  • Denise St-Cyr-Tribble
    • 3
  • Théophile Niyonsenga
    • 4
  • Hélène Payette
    • 5
  1. 1.CLSC de la Région Sherbrookoise — SSPERSherbrookeCanada
  2. 2.Department of Social and Preventive MedicineLaval UniversityQuebecCanada
  3. 3.Department of Nursing SciencesUniversité de SherbrookeCanada
  4. 4.Clinical Research CentreCentre hospitalier universitaire de SherbrookeCanada
  5. 5.Department of Community Health SciencesUniversity of SherbrookeCanada

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