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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1996 Sep 20;45(37):793-5.

Knowledge about folic acid and use of multivitamins containing folic acid among reproductive-aged women--Georgia, 1995.


Neural tube defects (NTDs) are serious birth defects that affect an estimated 4000 pregnancies each year in the United States. However, women can substantially decrease the risk for this birth defect by consuming 400 micrograms (0.4 mg) of folic acid per day before conception and during early pregnancy. In September 1992, the Public Health Service (PHS) recommended that all women of childbearing age who are capable of becoming pregnant consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. To characterize knowledge about the benefits of folic acid and use of multivitamins containing folic acid among Georgia women, the Division of Public Health, Georgia Department of Human Resources (GDHR), analyzed data from the 1995 Georgia Women's Health Survey (GWHS)--a comprehensive study of women's health that included questions about folic acid. This report summarizes the survey findings regarding knowledge and use of folic acid, which indicate that only 20% of Georgia women aged 15-44 years consumed a multivitamin containing > or = 400 micrograms of folic acid per day, and 71% did not know that folic acid can prevent some birth defects.

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