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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790XOn-line version ISSN 1980-5497


MALTA, Maíra Barreto; CARVALHAES, Maria Antonieta de Barros Leite; PARADA, Cristina Maria Garcia Lima  and  CORRENTE, José Eduardo. Using recommended intakes to estimate the prevalence of insufficient consumption of vitamin C and E by pregnant women. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2008, vol.11, n.4, pp.573-583. ISSN 1415-790X.

The changes that occur during pregnancy lead to an increase in the basal metabolic rate, which characterizes a high oxidative-stress condition, thus making the evaluation of the intake of antioxidant nutrients by pregnant women a relevant issue. This study aimed at estimating the prevalence of insufficient intake of vitamin C and E by pregnant women assisted by public healthcare services. A representative sample (n=107) of women in the second gestational trimester was studied. Such women's prenatal care was provided by basic healthcare units in the city of Botucatu/SP. Intake was investigated by two 24-hour recalls. The EAR method was adopted as cutoff point in order to estimate the prevalence of intake inadequacy in the population. Intake differences (in terciles) in relation to social, economic and obstetric factors as well as lifestyle were investigated by means of stratified analysis and by adopting a level of significance of p<0.05. The prevalence rates estimated for the insufficient intake of vitamins C and E were 60% and 91.5%, respectively. There was an inverse association between vitamin E intake and parity, and the intake of vitamin C was lower among adolescents as compared to adults. Such results indicate the need for individual and collective interventions in order to promote and support the consumption of healthy food by women at childbearing age. The conclusion is that the prevalence of inadequate intake is high and presents no social or economic contrasts.

Keywords : Pregnancy; Gestation; Vitamin C; Vitamin E.

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