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Prevalence and determinants of folate deficiency among urban Indian women in the periconception period

Abstract

Maternal folate insufficiency is of particular concern in developing countries due to its association with various adverse pregnancy outcomes. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of folate deficiency and its determinants among urban Indian women in the periconception period. Serum folate concentrations were measured in 584 women in early pregnancy (11 ± 3 weeks of gestation) using microbiological assay. Folate deficiency was detected in 24% women and possible deficiency was detected in 21% women. Multigravidity (aOR 1.84, 95% CI 1.16–2.92) and low education (aOR 1.67, 95% CI 1.06–2.62) emerged as determinants of folate deficiency while prenatal folic acid supplementation was favorable in decreasing the odds of folate deficiency (aOR 0.17, 95% CI 0.06–0.43). No association was observed between folate levels and adverse pregnancy outcomes including neural tube defects. The high prevalence of folate deficiency underlines the need for implementation of preconception folic acid supplementation as part of maternal health services in India.

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Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal health authorities and the participating hospital staff for their support and help in conducting the study. The study was supported by the University Grant Commission-University with Potential for Excellence (UGC-UPE) Holistic area “Translation research in the health of women and children” Grant no. UGC-UPE 262 B(2) and the Departmental Research Development Program Fund of Savitribai Phule Pune University.

Funding

The study was supported by the University Grants Commission-University with Potential for Excellence (UGC-UPE) Holistic area “Translation research in the health of women and children” Grant no. UGC-UPE 262 B(2) and the Departmental Research Development Program Fund of Savitribai Phule Pune University.

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Correspondence to Anita Kar.

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Bhide, P., Kar, A. Prevalence and determinants of folate deficiency among urban Indian women in the periconception period. Eur J Clin Nutr 73, 1639–1641 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-018-0255-2

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