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Memorias del Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud

On-line version ISSN 1812-9528


RUOTI COSP, Miguel et al. Knowledge of folic acid and its relationship with neural tube defects in postpartum women. Mem. Inst. Investig. Cienc. Salud [online]. 2016, vol.14, n.1, pp.57-63. ISSN 1812-9528.

Neural tube defects (NTDs) include a wide spectrum of congenital malformations. The most common is the open spina bifida that occurs with varying degrees of paralysis of the lower extremities and bladder and bowel disorders. Currently it is possible to reduce NTDs by folic acid (FA). The main objective or this study was to determine periconceptional knowledge of FA. We applied a questionnaire to 800 postpartum women, hospitalized in 3 different hospitals of Asunción-Paraguay, Hospital de Clínicas (Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics), Paraguayan Red Cross and Hospital San Pablo (MSP y BS), from February 1 to November 31, 2003. Most were between 20 and 24 years (29,8%), 54.3% had a bachelor degree. The pregnancy was planned in 21.8%. To the question "did you hear about FA" 66 (8.2%) of the 800 postpartum women responded affirmatively. Of these, 50 (75.6% of this subgroup) knew it is a vitamin, 39 (59.1%) know that FA is useful to prevent NTDs and 26 (39.4%) that should be consumed before the beginning of the pregnancy. In this study, unprecedented in Paraguay, postpartum women had very little knowledge about what is and the benefits of FA in the primary prevention of NTDs, which shows the importance of insisting on programs and health education information to all women of reproductive age.

Keywords : folic acid consumption; Paraguay; neural tube defects; pregnancy planning.

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