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Quick Uptakes
September 26, 2001

Folic Acid Reminder

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JAMA. 2001;286(12):1443. doi:10.1001/jama.286.12.1443

Many physicians are missing a key opportunity to prevent birth defects by not telling their female patients to take a daily multivitamin containing folic acid, says the March of Dimes.

The voluntary health agency made its comments following the September 5 release of a survey of 2001 women aged 18 to 45 conducted by the Gallup Organization under a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the survey, 76% of the women said their physicians did not discuss the benefits of folic acid to prevent neural tube defects. Fewer than one third of US women of childbearing age, not pregnant, take a daily multivitamin containing folic acid. But 20% of women asked said that they would be more likely to do so if physician or other health care professional said to.