Knowledge regarding preconceptional folic acid use in a Mexican-American patient population

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Primary Care Update for Ob/Gyns


The objective of this study was to evaluate knowledge regarding folic acid among postpartum Mexican-American patients. A survey regarding folate was administered to postpartum women at a public hospital serving primarily Mexican-Americans (n = 393). English and Spanish speakers were compared. Fifty eight percent cited prevention of birth defects as a reason to take folate. English speakers were less likely to know this than Spanish speakers (p = 0.005). Fifty-one percent of women stated they had learned about folate from radio or television. Of these, 83% knew that folic acid prevents birth defects and that it should be taken prior to pregnancy. Only 16% learned about folate from a health care provider. Compared to previous research, Mexican-American women have increased awareness of the association between folate consumption and birth defects, especially Spanish speakers. Patients citing radio/ television as a source of information tended to answer questions correctly, suggesting that media efforts in this area have been effective. © 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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