FOLIC ACID: For The Future. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Course Outline. What is folic acid? How do you get folic acid? Who needs folic acid? How do neural tube defects occur? What is a neural tube defect? What are the recommended levels of folic acid?
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
This presentation was developed by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior
Services through a grant from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
Folic acid is the synthetic form of a water soluble B vitamin that is needed to:
SOME of the cereals with 100% of the recommended daily value of folic acid per serving:
Take a multi-vitamin with 400 mcg. of synthetic folic acid every day
Neural tube closing properly to form spinal column and brain.
Financial Costs:Average estimated lifetime cost of $532,000 for each infant born with spina bifida (CDC 1999) adds an estimated 19 million dollars every year to Missouri resident lifetime costs associated with spina bifida.
Physical Costs:Possible paralysis (the leading cause of childhood paralysis), bowel and bladder control problems, learning disabilities, hydrocephalus, surgical procedures, latex allergies, increased health problems with age
Emotional Costs:Miscarriage, stillbirth, infant mortality (death before 1st birthday),
disability, feeling “different”
A previous pregnancy affected with NTD
Maternal insulin-dependent diabetes
Anti-epileptic drugs (Valporic Acid/Kepakene, Carbamazapine)
Lower socioeconomic/educational level
Exposure to high temperatures in pregnancyFactors Associated With Increased Risk of NTDs. . .
U.S. Public Health Service recommendation:
“All women of childbearing age capable of becoming pregnant should consume 400 micrograms (or 0.4 milligrams) of folic acid daily.”
“All women of childbearing age in the United States
who are capable of becoming pregnant
should consume 400 mcg. of folic acid per day
for the purpose of reducing their risk
of having a pregnancy affected
with a Neural Tube Defect.
Women who have had prior NTD-affected pregnancy
are at risk of having a subsequent affected pregnancy.”
The survey highlights the following characteristics of
women in the survey who were less likely to take a daily
folic acid supplement.
Women aged 18-24 (37.1%)
Annual income less than $15,000 (27.1%)
Less than a High School diploma (19.2%)
High School diploma (39.1%)
1999 Missouri BRFSS
1999 Missouri BRFSS