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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 957-962

Awareness of folic acid use among Saudi women attending outpatient clinics at King Fahad Medical City

Family Medicine, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Fatmah F Alreshidi
Building No. 3517, Alquds Street, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_174_18

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Context: Women should consume folic acid (FA) during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects (NTDs) in their children. Awareness of FA use, dosage, and administration can affect the risk of child malformations and other pregnancy complications. Aims: The primary objective of this study was to assess knowledge about the role of FA intake among Saudi women of reproductive age. The secondary objective was to ascertain the use of FA supplements in Saudi Arabia and the age of gestation at which FA is taken. Settings and Design: This cross-sectional study used a simple random sampling method for selecting Saudi women attending outpatient clinics at King Fahad Medical City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Materials and Methods: A random sample of 600 Saudi women aged 18–45 years was evaluated for their awareness of FA use. Participants completed a questionnaire comprising 16 questions. Six questions were demographic, and the remaining 10 fulfilled the study aims. Results: Women had high awareness about FA. Survey responses showed that 42.2% of women knew that FA should be taken before pregnancy, and 80.1% were aware that it prevents NTDs. A total of 46.8% women took FA during preconception. Healthcare professionals provided the information in 69.7% of the cases. Conclusion: We concluded that the lower number of deformities in Saudi Arabia is due to greater awareness of the importance of FA, which can likely be attributed to better education. Doctors and nurses should continue to encourage women to take FA supplements when planning their pregnancies.

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