Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth





First Page


Last Page


DOI of Original Publication



Originally published at

Date of Submission

June 2017



Although adequate folic acid or multivitamins can prevent up to 70 % of neural tube defects, the majority of U.S. non-pregnant women of childbearing age do not use multivitamins every day. Factors influencing consistent multivitamin use are not fully explored. This study aims to investigate the association between pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) and multivitamin use before pregnancy using a large, nationally representative sample of women with recent live births.


The national 2009–2011 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System data were analyzed. The sample included women with recent singleton live births (N = 104,211). The outcome of interest was multivitamin use which was categorized as no multivitamin use, 1–3 times/week, 4–6 times/week, and daily use. Maternal BMI was examined as underweight (<18.50 kg/m2), normal weight (18.50–24.99 kg/m2), overweight (25.00–29.99 kg/m2), and obese (≥30.00 kg/m2). Multinomial logistic regression was conducted, and adjusted odds ratios and 95 % confidence intervals were calculated.


Compared to women with normal weight, overweight and obese women had significantly increased odds of not taking multivitamins after adjusting for confounding factors. Further, the lack of multivitamin use increased in magnitude with the level of BMI (ORoverweight = 1.2, 95 % CI = 1.1–1.3; ORobese = 1.4, 95 % CI = 1.2–1.5).


Obese and overweight women were less likely to follow the recommendation for preconception multivitamin use compared to normal weight women. All health care professionals must enhance preconception care with particular attention to overweight and obese women. Preconception counseling may be an opportunity to discuss healthy eating and benefits of daily multivitamin intake before pregnancy.


© 2016 The Author(s). Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Is Part Of

VCU Family Medicine and Population Health Publications