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Reprod Toxicol. 2007 Jun;23(4):600-6. Epub 2007 Feb 12.

Knowledge and use of folic acid for prevention of birth defects amongst Honduran women.

Author information

1
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. yingwu60@hotmail.com

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To characterize determinants of folic acid (FA) use among women of reproductive age and patient education practices of health care professionals in one region of Honduras.

METHODS:

508 female outpatients and 128 health workers were interviewed in six primary care clinics in Honduras. Results were analyzed using univariate and multivariate regression models.

RESULTS:

The survey showed that 45% patients were familiar with FA. Of that number, 30% knew appropriate timing of consumption and 25% reported proper pre-natal supplementation. Increasing education was strongly correlated with knowledge of folic acid function (OR=252.52, P<0.0001) and actual use (OR=12.65, P<0.000). Age is associated with knowledge of proper timing of FA usage (OR=3.94, P<0.01). Most women learned about FA from medical professionals, but only half of providers educate their female patients about FA.

CONCLUSIONS:

Healthcare providers should remember to discuss the role of folic acid with their patients, particularly those of low education and at the extremes of reproductive age. While long-term efforts to develop fortification programs continue, interim Honduran health campaigns to increase proper consumption of folic acid should target these particularly vulnerable populations.

PMID:
17398068
DOI:
10.1016/j.reprotox.2007.01.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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