Compliance to the recommended use of folic acid supplements for women in Sweden is higher among those under treatment for infertility than among fertile controls and is also related to socioeconomic status and lifestyle
Background : Folate has been discussed in relation to fertility among women, but studies on women under treatment for infertility are lacking.
Objective : The objective of this study was to investigate folic acid supplement use and folate status among women under treatment for infertility (hereafter infertile) and fertile women also in regard to socioeconomic and lifestyle factors.
Design : Lifestyle and dietary habits, and use of dietary supplements were assessed using a questionnaire. Blood samples were obtained for analysis of folate status. 24-hour recall interviews were also performed.
Results : Highly educated, employed and infertile women were most prone to using folic acid supplements. The infertile women had a significantly better folate status than the fertile women. Folate status did not correlate with socioeconomic or lifestyle factors. The infertile women were physically more active, smoked less and were employed. Our questionnaire data had only fair agreement with the data from 24-hour recalls, but the folate status data was clearly correlated to our questionnaire results.
Conclusions : Infertile women were most prone to using folic acid supplements and had better folate status than the controls. High educational and employment status were found to be key factors for high compliance to the recommended use folic acid supplements.
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