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:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... METTLER ... ensure lab personnel have a basic understanding of the techniques they use so ... understanding will help them reduce waste and rework to create a leaner overall ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... Santa Rosa, California (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... been rated one of the highest preliminary data vendors in the latest KLAS report, ... 15 years, i2i has led the developing market for population health management (PHM). ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Bethlehem, PA (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 ... ... announce expanded authorization with BASF Human Nutrition into the Food & Beverage ... BSI has been BASF’s channel partner throughout Canada and USA geographies east ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... packer for pouches, bags, and flow wrapped products at WestPack 2015, February 9-11, ... product manufacturers step up to semi-automatic or fully-automatic case packing with a small ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Venice, FL (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 ... ... their new community enrichment program serving the greater Venice, FL area, has initiated ... died tragically in a car accident just four days after Christmas. To support ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)...  Misonix, Inc. (NASDAQ: MSON ), an ... markets innovative therapeutic ultrasonic products for spine surgery, ... surgery and other surgical applications, today announced financial ... half of fiscal year 2016 ended December 31, ... --> Highlights for the second quarter and ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... YORK, Pa., Feb. 9, 2016  Unilife Corporation ("Unilife" or "Company") ... of injectable drug delivery systems, today announced its financial results for ... 2015). ... Revenue for the ... million in the same period last year.  Cash receipts from customers ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... Feb. 9, 2016  Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: ... 2015 fourth quarter and full year financial results on ... financial markets.  Company management will host a live audio ... p.m. GMT to discuss fourth quarter and full year ... update and guidance for 2016 financial results. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: