Education about folic acid supplements in pregnancy should be directed at expectant fathers as well as mothers (Norway)

folic acid pregnancy

A study based on a large Norwegian national dataset (683,785 families) has shown that fathers’ characteristics are linked to less or greater use of folic acid supplements by expectant mothers.

Adequate use of folic acid during pregnancy is generally quite low in Norway – 16%.  The average rate is lower in families where fathers have the following characteristics:

  • Are younger than 30 or older than 34
  • Have a shorter education
  • Have manual or self-employed occupations
  • Originate from low/middle-income countries

This is similar to maternal factors linked to lower use of folic acid supplements.

The researchers recommend “information and knowledge about the importance of folic acid’s preventive potential needs to be directed to both men and women”, particularly within the groups where folic acid use has found to be lower.


Mortensen JHS, Øyen N, Nilsen RM, Fomina T, Tretli S & Bjørge T (2018), Paternal characteristics associated with maternal periconceptional use of folic acid supplementation, BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 2018

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