Most professional and international organizations recommend folic acid supplementation for women planning pregnancy. Various studies have shown high levels of non-compliance with this recommendation. This study aimed to identify sociodemographic characteristics related to this compliance. The analyses were based on 16,809 women from the French nationwide ELFE cohort (Etude Longitudinale Française depuis l’Enfance). Folic acid supplementation was assessed at delivery, and sociodemographic characteristics were collected at two months postpartum. The association between sociodemographic characteristics and compliance with recommendations on folic acid supplementation (no supplementation, periconceptional supplementation, and supplementation only after the periconceptional period) was examined using multivariate multinomial logistic regression. Only 26% of French women received folic acid supplementation during the periconceptional period, 10% of women received supplementation after the periconceptional period, and 64% received no supplementation. Young maternal age, low education level, low family income, multiparity, single parenthood, maternal unemployment, maternal overweight, and smoking during pregnancy were related to lower likelihood of folic acid supplementation during the periconceptional period compared to no supplementation. These associations were not explained by unplanned pregnancy. Immigrant and underweight women were more likely to receive folic acid supplementation after the periconceptional period. Our study confirms great social disparities in France regarding the compliance with the recommendations on folic acid supplementation.
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