Document Detail

Insufficient folic acid intake in the Netherlands: what about the future?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12115779     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: In 1993 all women of childbearing age in the Netherlands were advised to take a daily 0.5 mg folic acid pill to reduce the risk for neural tube defects. This study describes both recent and past awareness and use of folic acid supplements in relation to socio-economic status in the Northern Netherlands. The consequences of a recent report of the Dutch Health Council report will be discussed as well. METHODS: In the most recent cross-sectional study (November 2000), pregnant women filled out a questionnaire. Out of 473 women, 461 were willing to cooperate. The highest fulfilled level of education was taken as an indicator for socio-economic status. RESULTS: Seventy-seven percent (n = 357) of the respondents had heard about folic acid before being pregnant. Sixty-three percent (n = 289) knew about the protective effect for NTDs and 33% (n = 151) knew the entire advised period. Sixty-one percent (n = 265) of the respondents used folic acid in some part of the advised period and 36% (n = 164) used it in the entire advised period. Higher educated women knew more about folic acid and used it significantly more often in the periconceptional period than lower educated women. CONCLUSIONS: Because compliance to proper use of folic acid was poor, food fortification in the Netherlands must be seriously considered. The Dutch Health Council wants to limit the fortification of food products to those products that are especially aimed for women who wish to become pregnant. The fortification of specific products instead of staple foods is a missed chance to reduce NTDs and possibly other birth defects and cardiovascular defects as well.
H E K de Walle; L T W de Jong-van den Berg
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Teratology     Volume:  66     ISSN:  0040-3709     ISO Abbreviation:  Teratology     Publication Date:  2002 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-07-12     Completed Date:  2003-03-03     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0153257     Medline TA:  Teratology     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  40-3     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
EUROCAT-Registration, Department of Medical Genetics, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Congenital Abnormalities / epidemiology,  prevention & control
Folic Acid / administration & dosage*
Folic Acid Deficiency / complications,  prevention & control
Food, Fortified*
Health Policy
Netherlands / epidemiology
Patient Education as Topic
Public Health
Reg. No./Substance:
59-30-3/Folic Acid

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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