Public Health Nutrition

Research Paper

Factors associated with a positive intake of folic acid in the periconceptional period among Korean women

Min-Hyoung Kima1, Jung-Yeol Hana1 c1, Yeon-Jin Choa1, Hyun-Kyong Ahna1, Joo-Oh Kima1, Hyun-Mee Ryua1, Moon-Young Kima1, Jae-Hyug Yanga1 and Alejandro A Nava-Ocampoa2

a1 Korean Motherisk Program, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Cheil Hospital and Women’s Healthcare Center, 1–9 Mookjung-Dong, Chung-Gu, Seoul, South Korea

a2 Division of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Abstract

Objective We aimed to investigate the factors associated with a positive intake of folic acid (FA) during the periconceptional period among Korean women.

Design In a cross-sectional study of demographic, obstetric and socio-economic data, history of periconceptional intake of FA and awareness of the benefits of FA supplementation in pregnancy were obtained and analysed using the χ2 test, followed by multiple logistic regression analysis.

Setting The Maternity School, Cheil General Hospital and Women’s Healthcare Center, Seoul, South Korea, between October 2005 and March 2006.

Subjects In total 1313 pregnant women participating in a two-day training course available every month.

Results After excluding subjects with incomplete or inconsistent data, there were 1277 women included in the analysis. Participants were aged 29·4 (sd 2·9) years and had a mean gestational age of 27·9 (sd 7·1) weeks. Only 131 (10·3 %) women took FA during the periconceptional period. According to multiple logistic regression analyses, the adjusted OR for FA supplementation was 1·79 (95 % CI 1·10, 2·91) in women who had previous spontaneous abortions, 4·10 (95 % CI 2·43, 6·78) in women who planned their pregnancy and 6·63 (95 % CI 2·08, 21·12) in those who were aware of the protective effects of FA.

Conclusions Periconceptional intake of FA was more likely among Korean women with a history of previous spontaneous abortion, who planned their pregnancy or who were aware of the protective effects of FA during pregnancy. However, the proportion of women who took FA in the periconceptional period was low.

(Received July 02 2007)

(Accepted February 20 2008)

Correspondence

c1 Corresponding author: Email hanjungyeol@yahoo.com

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