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Publication type: Article in scientific journal
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: Inadequate status and low awareness of folate in Switzerland : a call to strengthen public health measures to ensure sufficient intakes
Authors: Herter-Aeberli, Isabelle
Wehrli, Nina
Bärlocher, Kurt
Andersson, Maria
Sych, Janice Marie
et. al: No
DOI: 10.3390/nu12123729
Published in: Nutrients
Volume(Issue): 12
Issue: 12
Page(s): 3729
Issue Date: 3-Dec-2020
Publisher / Ed. Institution: MDPI
ISSN: 2072-6643
Language: English
Subjects: Folate awareness; Folate status; Folic acid; Neural tube defect; Pregnancy; Women
Subject (DDC): 613.2: Dietetics
614: Public health and prevention of disease
Abstract: Background: Folate plays an essential role in the prevention of neural tube defects, yet little is known about the folate status of women of reproductive age or to what degree the general population is aware of the importance of folate in early-life development. We aimed to determine folate status in women of reproductive age and pregnant women in Switzerland, and to assess folate awareness in the Swiss population. Methods: In a convenience sample of 171 women of reproductive age and 177 pregnant women throughout Switzerland, we measured red blood cell (RBC) folate concentration. In a second convenience sample (n = 784, men and women) we assessed folate knowledge with an online survey. Results: RBC folate concentration (median interquartile range) was 442 (366, 564) nmol/L in women of reproductive age and 873 (677, 1177) nmol/L in pregnant women. Folate deficiency (RBC folate <340 nmol/L) was found in 19.9% of women of reproductive age and 2.8% of pregnant women, while 91.8% of women of reproductive age and 52.0% of pregnant women showed folate concentrations indicating an elevated risk of neural tube defects (RBC folate <906 nmol/L). The online survey showed that a high proportion (≥88%) of participants were aware of folate’s role in neural tube defect (NTD) prevention and fetal development, yet knowledge about dietary sources and national recommendations of folate supplementation when planning pregnancy were limited. Conclusion: The high prevalence of folate inadequacy in Swiss women suggests an elevated risk of neural tube defects and calls for urgent measures to increase folate intakes.
Further description: This publication is connected to the project Folic Acid Awareness in Switzerland.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): CC BY 4.0: Attribution 4.0 International
Departement: Life Sciences and Facility Management
Organisational Unit: Institute of Food and Beverage Innovation (ILGI)
Appears in collections:Publikationen Life Sciences und Facility Management

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