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Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Guaraldi C. 1, Costantino M. 2, Costantino D. 3
1 Reparto di Ostetricia e Ginecologia, Ospedale di Valdagno, Vicenza, Italia;
2 Chimica e Tecnologia Farmaceutiche, Università degli Studi di Ferrara, Ferrara, Italia;
3 Centro Salute Donna, Azienda AUSL Ferrara, Ferrara, Italia
AIM: In gynecology, the importance of an adequate folate intake in the periconceptional period and during pregnancy is widely accepted. Its purpose is to decrease the risk of maternal and fetal diseases, such as neural tube defects (NTD), so that Italy strongly recommends that women who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant receive folate supplementation (i.e. 0.4 or 4-5 mg per day, as needed). Despite that, recent studies show women’s low awareness of the importance of folate supplementation, above all during the periconceptional period. Basing on these considerations, we surveyed pregnant women to investigate their awareness and the real use of folate.
METHODS: From January to October 2014 we surveyed 650 pregnant women. We used a questionnaire with closed and semi-closed questions.
RESULTS: The mean age of the enrolled women was 32.8 (±2.9). The survey showed that a significant proportion of women knew folate benefits in pregnancy (about 70%) and they used it during gestational period (89.8%), whereas folate supplementation during periconceptional period was inadequate, used by only the 16.9% of women and often at a lower than recommended amount.
CONCLUSION: Awareness and use of folate can be promoted through informational campaigns among general practitioners and obstetricians/gynecologists, through preconceptional and prenatal counseling, and through a risk assessment addressed to choose the appropriate folate type and dosage.