Navigation Links
Immigrant women may be at higher risk of having a baby with a birth defect
Date:4/16/2009

TORONTO, Ont., April 16 2009 Immigrant women are less likely to use folic acid supplements before pregnancy to prevent spina bifida, particularly those who recently immigrated to the country, according to a new study led by a St. Michael's Hospital physician in collaboration with Statistics Canada, Health Canada and the University of Toronto. The study is the first to provide national estimates of pre-pregnancy folic acid use in Canada.

"Our study's findings report that while about six in 10 Canadian-born mothers take folic-acid supplements in the three-month period before conception, mothers from non-western countries China, Northern African, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, Latin American or South Pacific countries are less likely to use the supplements," St. Michael's Hospital's Dr. Joel Ray said. "This information is important for policy makers and health practitioners as we aim to better educate new mothers and prevent neural tube defects in their babies."

Neural tube defects are birth defects of the spinal cord and brain, otherwise known as spina bifida and anencephaly. Research has shown the risk of neural tube defects can be reduced by nearly 50 per cent with folic acid supplements taken just before and soon after conception, or through consumption of food fortified with folic acid. However, an estimated six to 12 in every 10,000 fetuses in Canada still develop neural tube defects.

The study, an analysis of 6,349 new mothers aged 18 to 45 years, examined the relationship between folic acid supplement use in the three months before conception and the mother's maternal country of birth and years of residence in Canada.

Sixty one per cent of Canadian-born women in the study reported using folic acid supplements in the three month period before conception. However, these rates were much lower among women born in the Caribbean or Latin America (41%), Sub-Sahara Africa (44%), Northern Africa or the Middle East (31%), or South Asia (46%). What's more, only 39% of foreign-born women living in Canada less than four years reported using supplements compared to 64% of foreign-born women living in Canada at least 17 years.

"The disparity in pre-conceptual folic acid supplement use may be due to unplanned/unintended pregnancies or lack of awareness of the benefits of folic acid supplements," Ray said. "Immigrant women, especially those from non-Western countries, are least likely to have this information, which can otherwise be easily provided to these women through various communication mediums."

The study's authors suggest immigrant women be provided with a language-specific pamphlet on the benefits of folic acid, or even with free supplements.


'/>"/>

Contact: Julie Saccone
sacconej@smh.toronto.on.ca
416-864-5047
St. Michael's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study shows immigrant children are at increased risk of lead poisoning
2. Study reveals that immigrant teenagers eat better than Spanish teenagers
3. Vitamin D deficiency related to increased inflammation in healthy women
4. NIH funds research center for womens reproductive health at Einstein
5. Exposure to insecticide may play role in obesity epidemic among some women
6. Why do women store fat differently from men?
7. Hispanic women and breast cancer: An understudied group
8. Researchers may have found why women have an edge on salt-sensitive hypertension
9. Protein that regulates hormones critical to womens health found in pituitary
10. Springer author and advisory board member wins LOreal UNESCO Women in Science Award
11. Research finds older women who are more physically fit have better cognitive function
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/30/2017)... , June 30, 2017 Today, ... developer and supplier of face and eye tracking ... Featured Product provider program. "Artificial ... innovative way to monitor a driver,s attentiveness levels ... from being able to detect fatigue and prevent ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner startups ... collaboration between startups and global businesses, taking place in ... nine startups will showcase the solutions they have built with ... France is one of the ... percent increase in the number of startups created between 2012 ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), ... and identity verification solutions, announced today they will participate ... May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... Trade Center. Identity impacts the lives ... today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity is critical ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... for two-dimensional representations of a complex biological network, a depiction of a system ... big mess,” said Dmitry Korkin, PhD, associate professor of computer science at Worcester ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... prospective clinical study that demonstrates the accuracy of the FebriDx® test, a ... significant acute bacterial and viral respiratory tract infections by testing the body’s ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... genomics analysis platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze and ... researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery of ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... ... a basic first aid supply for any work environment, but most personal eye wash can ... a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s one less decision, and likely quicker response time ... , “Whether its dirt and debris, or an acid or alkali, getting anything in your ...
Breaking Biology Technology: