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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.

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Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.



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.


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.


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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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