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Journal of Perinatal Medicine

Official Journal of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Dudenhausen, Joachim W.

Editorial Board Member: / Bancalari, Eduardo / Greenough, Anne / Genc, Mehmet R. / Chervenak, Frank A. / Chappelle, Joseph / Bergmann, Renate L. / Bernardes, J.F. / Bevilacqua, G. / Blickstein, Isaac / Cabero Roura, Luis / Carbonell-Estrany, Xavier / Carrera, Jose M. / D`Addario, Vincenzo / D'Alton, MD, Mary E. / Dimitrou, G. / Grunebaum, Amos / Hentschel, Roland / Köpcke, W. / Kawabata, Ichiro / Keirse, M.J.M.C. / Kurjak M.D., Asim / Lee, MD MPH MSCR, Ben H. / Levene, Malcolm / Lockwood, Charles J. / Marsal, Karel / Makatsariya, Alexander / Nishida, Hiroshi / Papp, Zoltán / Pejaver, Ranjan Kumar / Pooh, Ritsuko K. / Romero, Roberto / Saugstad, Ola D. / Schenker, Joseph G. / Sen, Cihat / Seri, Istvan / Vetter, Klaus / Winn, Hung N. / Young, Bruce K. / Zimmermann, Roland

6 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2013: 1.425

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR): 0.782
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP): 0.928



Determinants of folic acid use in a multi-ethnic population of pregnant women: a cross-sectional study

Mohamed A. Baraka1 / Stephane Steurbaut2 / Liesbeth Leemans3 / Walter Foulon4 / Monika Laubach4 / Danny Coomans5 / Eleonora Jansen4 / 2

1Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Laarbeeklaan 103, Belgium

2Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, UZ Brussel and Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Laarbeeklaan 101, Belgium

3Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Drug Analysis and Drug Information, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Laarbeeklaan 103, Belgium

4Department of Obstetrics, UZ Brussel, Laarbeeklaan 101, Belgium

5Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Laarbeeklaan 103, Belgium

Corresponding author: Alain G. Dupont Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy UZ Brussel and Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy Vrije Universiteit Brussel Laarbeeklaan 101 Belgium Tel.: +32 2 477 6432 Fax: +32 2 477 6431

Citation Information: Journal of Perinatal Medicine. Volume 39, Issue 6, Pages 685–692, ISSN (Online) 1619-3997, ISSN (Print) 0300-5577, DOI: 10.1515/jpm.2011.085, August 2011

Publication History

Published Online:


Aims: To investigate the possible differences in folic acid use and to identify the determinants of antenatal folic acid use among multi-ethnic pregnant women.

Methods: Three hundred and fifty pregnant women participated in this cross-sectional study in a university hospital in Brussels, Belgium. A questionnaire was used to obtain data on socio-demographic characteristics and folic acid use. χ2-tests and binary logistic regression analyses were performed using SPSS 17.

Results: In the overall cohort, 59.2% used folic acid supplements during pregnancy. This supplement use was associated with an age of 26–35 years, being of Western origin, with high education and employment status, understanding physician’s instructions, and early booking for antenatal care. Education (odds ratio, OR: 2.24; 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.08–4.63) and early booking for antenatal care OR: 2.45; 95% CI: 1.11–5.40) were the most important determinants. In particular for Arab/Turkish women, a lower employment status OR: 0.42; 95% CI: 0.24–0.73) was associated with a higher risk of not using folic acid supplements.

Conclusions: The lower use of folic acid supplements in Arab/Turkish ethnicities, which may be associated with an increased risk of neural tube defects, is related to socio-economic factors rather than to lower educational attainment. As recommended by other studies, fortification of ethnic minority food may be warranted to reduce the risk of neural tube defects.

Keywords: Arab women; ethnicity; folic acid; immigration; neural tube defects; pregnancy

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