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Health of Hispanic moms and babies a growing concern, new report says
Date:6/11/2014

ealthy baby. Daily folic acid to prevent birth defects in the baby and a healthy weight are part of planning," said Dr. Ramos. "Early prenatal care can identify any potential problems. Once you have your baby, continuing the healthy pregnancy behaviors can help you stay healthy and keep your family healthy."

A greater proportion of Hispanic women have babies each year than any other racial or ethnic group in the U. S., making this population the fastest-growing ethnic group in the country. Although there is great diversity among Hispanic women, there are several health concerns that are common among them, the March of Dimes report says. Babies born to Hispanic women are significantly more likely to have serious birth defects of the brain and spine known as neural tube defects (NTDs). While this disparity is not well understood, one reason may be that Hispanic women have a lower intake of folic acid. In the U. S., wheat flour is fortified with folic acid, but corn masa flour is not. Hispanic women are less likely to report taking a multivitamin containing folic acid prior to pregnancy.

In addition, although the preterm birth rate for all ethnicities in the U. S. is declining, the Hispanic preterm birth is improving at a slower rate meaning the gap between Hispanic and white preterm birth rates is growing.

Nationwide, nearly half a million babies are born too soon each year. The U. S. preterm birth rate peaked in 2006 at 12.8 percent. It declined to 11.5 percent in 2012, a 10 percent improvement. Hispanic babies account for nearly one out of every four babies born preterm in the United States.

As a global ambassador for the March of Dimes, Thalia leads health awareness campaigns to reach millions of moms and moms-to-be through television, radio and social media. To help bring more attention to the mission, Thalia has also included the March of Dimes in her publishing and music project promotions, including the launch of her upcomin
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Contact: Elizabeth Lynch
elynch@marchofdimes.com
914-997-4286
March of Dimes Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

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Health of Hispanic moms and babies a growing concern, new report says
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