Study: Folic acid one year before conception results in huge drop in preterm birth risk

February 4, 2008

Researchers report a huge drop in preterm birth risk among women taking folic acid one year before conception

New research suggests that women who take folic acid supplements for at least one year before they become pregnant can cut their risk of having a premature baby by half. Researchers at the 28th Annual Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) meeting—The Pregnancy Meeting—unveiled a study linking pre conceptional folate supplementation of at last one year to reduced early premature delivery rates of 50% to 70%, regardless of age, race, or other factors. Of particular note is the drop in very early premature births, those babies who are at the greatest risk of complications such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, chronic lung disease, and blindness.

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