Dietary intake of folate by pregnant women of the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro

Helaine Thomaz de Lima Cláudia Saunders Andréa Ramalho About the authors

OBJECTIVES: to assess the folate ingestion by 201 low-risk pregnant women attended at Prenatal Service in Miguel Couto Municipal Hospital, in Rio de Janeiro. METHODS: for the dietary assessment, a survey of semi-quantitative intake frequency has been used. It was considered as adequate dietary ingestion an amount of 600µg/day or above. Additionally, maternal variables were identified by interviews and checking their medical files. RESULTS: the prevalence of dietary folate inadequacy was 63,7%. Such a rate has occurred irrespective to maternal variables, namely, age, color, dwelling, sanitary conditions, pregnancy time, time span between deliveries, parity and nutritional conditions before pregnancy. On the other hand, the folate consume has proved to be dependent on the mothers'schooling level and the use of suplements. Less educated women have shown 2,5 times more chance (OR = 2,49) of inadequate folate intake, and that not in use of suplement shown 16,3 times more chance(OR = 16,30) of inadequate folate intake. CONCLUSIONS: these findings reinforce the importance of investigating the nutritional state of folate in women at reproductive age and in pregnant women at prenatal attendance, since the nutritional deficiency at this stage of the biological cycle may be associated with undesirable obstetric results.

Folic acid; Pregnancy; Diet surveys; Neural tube defects


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