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Prevention of neural tube defects: prevalence of folic acid supplementation during pregnancy and associated factors in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil

Cíntia Leal Sclowitz Mezzomo Gilberto de Lima Garcias Marcelo Leal Sclowitz Iandora Timm Sclowitz Clarice Brinck Brum Tiago Fontana Ricardo Issler Unfried About the authors

To determine folic acid use and associated factors, a cross-sectional population-based study was conducted in all five maternity hospitals in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Data were collected from April 1 to August 15, 2006 (n = 1,450 women). A standard questionnaire was applied in the hospitals. Statistical analysis used Poisson regression. Prevalence of folic acid consumption during pregnancy was 31.8%, and periconceptional use was 4.3%. The following were associated with folic acid use: white skin color, schooling > 9 years, family income > R$600, age > 30 years, planned pregnancy, > 7 prenatal visits, knowledge on folic acid, and prenatal care in the private health system. In order to prevent neural tube defects, it is important to promote folic acid use among childbearing-age women and to supply folic acid to poor women.

Folic Acid; Pregnancy; Neural Tube Defects; Cross- Sectional Studies

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