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Table 2 Prevalence of folic acid supplement users according to maternal characteristics and time periods of usea

From: Prevalence and determinants of preconception folic acid use: an Italian multicenter survey

Characteristic No. of women Folic acid supplement users, %b
At least one month before pregnancy (n = 256) At least six months before pregnancy (n = 259) Soon after pregnancy confirmation (n = 1,201) After the first trimester (n = 122)
Maternal age (years)      
  <25 130 5.4 0 63.1 7.7
  25–29 404 11.4 7.4 58.7 4.7
  30–34 724 13.5 10.9 54.4 6.2
  35–39 660 12.3 15.8 51.1 5.2
  40 or more 209 10.5 19.1 53.1 4.8
Parity      
  0 1,246 12.4 14.4 52.8 4.5
  1 730 11.6 8.6 58.8 6.4
  2 171 8.2 8.8 55.0 9.4
  3 or more 42 4.8 2.4 47.6 7.1
Educational level      
  Primary school 331 3.9 5.4 53.5 8.2
  Secondary school 960 11.3 10.2 56.3 6.9
  University 890 15.1 16.1 54.2 3.3
Marital status      
  No partner 213 5.6 6.6 62.9 7.5
  Married/cohabiting 1,957 12.3 12.5 54.2 5.4
Citizenship      
  Non-Italian 319 8.2 6.0 53.0 10.0
  Italian 1,867 12.3 12.9 55.2 4.8
Working activity      
  Studying 106 10.4 7.5 61.3 5.7
  Working 1,683 12.4 12.7 55.0 5.4
  Working at home 283 8.5 8.8 53.7 6.0
  Not working 94 10.6 13.8 50.0 7.4
Pregnancy intention      
  Unintended 121 4.1 2.5 57.0 9.1
  Mistimed 646 4.3 4.0 62.4 7.3
  Intended 1,392 15.8 16.4 51.1 4.4
Preconception health visit      
  No 1,266 5.1 5.0 63.6 6.8
  Yes 907 21.2 21.6 42.9 3.9
Infertility treatment      
  No 2,001 11.0 9.9 57.0 5.5
  Ovulation inductor use, no ART 31 6.5 41.9 32.3 12.9
  ART 128 22.7 35.2 30.5 2.3
Maternal smoking before pregnancy      
  No 1,614 12.5 13.1 53.5 5.4
  Yes 575 9.4 8.3 58.6 6.1
BMI before pregnancy      
  Underweight 180 11.1 12.2 53.9 6.1
  Normal weight 1,573 12.4 12.3 54.2 5.6
  Pre-obese 303 11.2 9.9 59.4 4.3
  Obese 122 5.7 9.8 54.9 6.6
Chronic disease      
  No 1,959 11.2 11.0 55.4 5.8
  Yes 208 14.4 19.7 50.0 3.8
  1. Abbreviation: ART assisted reproductive technology, BMI body mass index
  2. aTime periods were defined as (a) at least one month before the last menstrual period to the end of the first trimester, (b) at least six months before the last menstrual period to the end of the first trimester, (c) soon after pregnancy confirmation to the end of the first trimester, (d) after the first trimester of pregnancy, or (e) no use at all
  3. bPercentage of “no use at all” not shown in the table