Navigation Links
Folic Acid May Help Prevent Premature Birth
Date:1/31/2008

Women took the B vitamin for one year before conception, study reports

THURSDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Long known to help prevent birth defects, folic acid may also help prevent premature births, new research suggests.

In a large study that included almost 40,000 women, a team of U.S. and Irish researchers found that women who took folic acid supplements for a year or longer before conception had a 70 percent decreased risk of preterm birth between 20 and 28 weeks of gestation.

"There have been all sorts of protocols, lifestyle interventions and medications tested, and nothing has made a difference in preterm births, so this is a really exciting study," said Dr. Katharine Wenstrom, president of the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Wenstrom said it's likely that folic acid is regulating certain genes that malfunction to cause early labor. "Now that we know that folic acid makes a huge difference, researchers can look at the different reactions that folic acid causes and see which might be related to preterm labor," she said.

A premature birth is one that occurs before 37 weeks' gestation, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Improved medical knowledge and technology have made survival for these small infants more likely -- of babies born at 28 weeks or after, 90 percent are expected to survive, according to the NIH.

But the earlier a baby is delivered, the greater the risk of serious complications, including bleeding in the brain, infection, delayed growth and intestinal problems, according to the NIH.

The new study included 38,033 women pregnant with one baby. Women who had known pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia or high blood pressure, and women pregnant with babies with known chromosomal or other birth defects weren't included in the study.

A baby's gestational age was determined by ultrasound between 10 and 14 weeks of pregnancy. Folic acid supplementation history was reported to the researchers by the women.

The researchers found that women who took a folic acid supplement for at least a year prior to becoming pregnant reduced their risk of preterm delivery between 20 and 28 weeks of gestation by 70 percent. A year of folic acid supplementation dropped the risk of delivering during weeks 28 through 32 by 50 percent, according to the study.

"This study saw a huge decrease in spontaneous preterm delivery for women who took folic acid for one year prior to conception. Now we can add prevention of prematurity to the mix of reasons for all women to take an additional folic acid supplement," said Dr. Alan Fleischman, senior vice president and medical director of the March of Dimes.

Results of the study were to be presented Thursday at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine annual meeting, in Dallas. Fleischman noted that the current findings are preliminary and need to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

In the meantime, Wenstrom said she believes that everyone -- both male and female -- should take a daily folic acid supplement in addition to a multivitamin containing folic acid.

"Cereal and grain products are fortified with folic acid, but the level of fortification isn't optimal. Folic acid influences so many things. It reduces the risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, and it prevents birth defects," she said. "It's a simple preventive measure for a variety of severe problems."

The March of Dimes recommends that women take 400 micrograms daily of folic acid before becoming pregnant, and continuing to take folic acid throughout the pregnancy.

More information

To learn more about folic acid and pregnancy, visit the March of Dimes.



SOURCES: Alan Fleischman, M.D., senior vice president and medical director, March of Dimes, White Plains, N.Y.; Katharine Wenstrom, M.D., president, Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and professor, obstetrics and gynecology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville; Jan. 31, 2008, presentation, Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine annual meeting, Dallas


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Womens Folic Acid Levels Improving
2. Breast cancer prevention practices vary across Canada
3. Blood-flow detector software show promise in preventing brain damage
4. Red wine compound shown to prevent prostate cancer
5. School-based overweight prevention program may cut risk of eating disorders among girls
6. Avocados may help prevent oral cancer, OSU study shows
7. What is Being Done to Prevent Misdiagnosis?
8. MultiVu Video Feed: PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERTS CONVENE TO DISCUSS THE TREATMENT AND PREVENTION OF RABIES
9. Preventing variceal bleeding
10. Jump in Youth Suicide Prompts National Childrens Charity KidsPeace to Issue Tips on Prevention, Warning Signs
11. ABQAURP Announces Certificate Course in Medical Error Prevention
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Folic Acid May Help Prevent Premature Birth
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... S.S. Nesbitt as the latest addition to its growing list of Partner Firms. ... throughout the Southeast, from Orlando to Huntsville and in between. , Harnessing the ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... , ... AHRA: The Association for Medical Imaging Management announced ... serve as keynote speaker at the organization’s 2016 Spring Conference. Fox’s topic, Lead ... communicate with their own organizational staff and leadership. , “I am so ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Florida (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... Club) announced that it has been awarded the prestigious Distinguished Emerald Club of ... award program conducted by BoardRoom magazine, one of the most respected trade publications ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... Workrite Ergonomics ... most versatile series of monitor mounts ever. , “Our goal was to develop ... easy to install system that we have ever created.” said Darren Hulsey, Product Manager ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... ... A new leadership team for Mid-South Youth Camp, operated by Freed-Hardeman University, ... Monday night, Feb. 8, prior to the evening session of the university’s 80th Annual ... GO! Camp, has been named director. Gayle McDonald, currently the assistant director of MSYC, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... , February 10, 2016 --> --> ... Japan .  --> Japan .  --> A ... With submission, Shire continues to strengthen ... With submission, Shire continues to strengthen its presence ... submission, Shire continues to strengthen its presence ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... SEATTLE , Feb. 10, 2016  Resolve ... potentially transformative new approaches to the treatment of ... completion of a multiple ascending dose study in ... lead compound RSLV-132. --> ... double-blind, placebo-controlled multiple ascending dose study of RSLV-132 ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... YORK , Feb. 10, 2016 Immune ... biopharmaceutical company, announced today that it has filed a ... Leukemia and other cancers. --> ... treating cancer by administration of Ceplene (histamine dihydrochloride) in ... provides methods of predicting the efficacy of Ceplene and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: