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New Survey Reveals Majority of Women of Child-Bearing Age Unaware Folic Acid Should Be Consumed Before Pregnancy
Date:1/6/2009

Grain Foods Foundation Partners with March of Dimes to Remind Women of the Importance of Folic Acid in Preventing Birth Defects

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- A new March of Dimes survey conducted by the Gallup organization and funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals only 11 percent of women of childbearing age said they knew that folic acid should be consumed prior to pregnancy. Nearly 40 percent of American women of childbearing age (ages 18-45), say they take a daily multivitamin supplement containing folic acid. However, the rate drops to 27 percent among women 18 to 24 years old.

Additionally, a separate March of Dimes survey conducted by International Communications Research and funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reveals only 17 percent of Spanish-speaking women of childbearing age in the United States are taking a multivitamin containing folic acid daily, according to the first- nationally representative folic acid awareness survey to focus on this population.

This January, as part of National Birth Defects Prevention Month, the Grain Foods Foundation has joined with the March of Dimes to remind all women of child-bearing age of the important role folic acid plays in preventing birth defects.

Daily consumption of the B vitamin folic acid beginning before pregnancy is crucial as birth defects of the brain and spine known as neural tube defects (NTDs), such as spina bifida, can occur in the early weeks following conception, often before a woman knows she is pregnant.

"Folic acid is the most important vitamin women can take to help prevent serious birth defects of the brain and spine, and it's most important that they start taking it before they get pregnant and continue to take it after," said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes.

The March of Dimes urges all women of chil
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SOURCE Grain Foods Foundation
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