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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 141-145

Awareness and use of folic acid in a clinic-based Saudi pregnant population

1 Department of Family Medicine, Epidemiology and Scientific Computing, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Biostatistic, Epidemiology and Scientific Computing, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Patricia McWalter
Department of Family Medicine, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1658-631X.156425

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Background: Neural tube defects are amongst the most common birth defects worldwide. Many of the patients in our primary care clinic at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, were not aware of the importance of folic acid supplementation in the prevention of. Objective: Our aim was to evaluate current level of awareness, use and understanding of FA supplementation in pregnant Saudi women. Materials and Methods: This was a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study. Two hundred and fifty four Saudi pregnant women were surveyed. They were asked about the use and benefits of folic acid before and during pregnancy. This information was collected during regular office visits to the Family Medicine Department at our hospital over a period of 1-year. Questionnaires were completed by the physicians at the patient's initial clinic visit. Results : 85.4% of the pregnant women were under 35 and 14.6% were over 35. 66% of the studied group started folic acid when they realized they were pregnant; only 22% started before conception. Around 50% of the women gave the correct reason for taking folic acid. Conclusion: There is a definite need to increase the level of awareness in Saudi ladies of the importance of taking folic acid in the preconception period. This can be done during visits for premarital screening and well-woman checks.

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