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Friday, January 16, 2015

Neural Tube Defect Prevalence at Birth

Study: Updated Estimates of Neural Tube Defect Prevalence at Birth Before and After Mandatory Folic Acid Fortification — United States, 1995–2011
Even with the success of folic acid fortification, we can do more. Public health interventions targeting women with lower folic acid intake, especially Hispanic women, might help reduce neural tube defect prevalence even further. The prevalence of neural tube defects (NTDs) has decreased by 35 percent since folic acid fortification in the United States, which translates to about 1,300 babies born NTD-free annually because of this intervention. NTDs are serious birth defects of the brain or spine.
Since 1998, enriched grain products in the U.S. have been fortified with folic acid to prevent NTDs. Even with fortification, some women do not get enough folic acid. CDC urges all women of childbearing age, whether planning a pregnancy or not, to get 400 mcg of folic acid daily from fortified foods, supplements, or both, in addition to consuming folate-rich foods from a varied diet. Getting the recommen

Many women who have had a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect (NTD) and are planning another pregnancy are not following folic acid supplement recommendations. Healthcare providers should strengthen their message to these women to encourage folic acid use. Among women with a previous pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect (NTD), women who had a second pregnancy affected by an NTD reported taking folic acid less often (35%) than those who had a baby without a birth defect (80%).

Women who have had a pregnancy affected by a NTD are at an increased risk for having another pregnancy affected by an NTD. High-dosage folic acid supplements -- 4.0 mg per day taken at least 4 weeks before becoming pregnant through the first 12 weeks of pregnancy -- are known to reduce the risk of a NTD.
These are 15 foods with folic acid
Dark Leafy Greens
2. Asparagus
3. Broccoli
4. Fruits- Papaya — Oranges —Grapefruit — Strawberries — Raspberries
5. Beans, Peas and Lentils
6. Avocado
7. Okra
8. Brussels Sprout
9. Seeds and Nuts
10. Cauliflower
11. Beets
12. Corn
13. Celery
14. Carrots
15. Squash

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