New recommendations for folic acid supplementation to prevent neural tube defects
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- The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that all women of reproductive age take a daily folic acid supplement to reduce risks for neural tube defects.
Why this matters
- Neural tube defects are defects of the brain and spine affecting 6.5 cases per 10,000 live births.
- Most neural tube defects occur spontaneously, but risk factors include a personal or family history.
- One half of US pregnancies are unplanned; this recommendation should apply to all women of reproductive age and be part of preconception counseling.
- This recommendation reaffirms the 2009 recommendation statement.
- The USPSTF recommends “all women who are planning or capable of pregnancy take a daily supplement containing 0.4 to 0.8 mg of folic ...