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Periconceptional Intake of Folic Acid Among Low-Income Women

Padmaja R. Itikala, MPH; Sarah E. Ruuska; Godfrey P. Oakley, Jr, MD; Amy S. Kloeblen-Tarver, MPH, RD, LD, CHES; Luella Klein, MD
JAMA. 2000;283(23):3074. doi:10.1001/jama.283.23.3068.
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To the Editor: The US Public Health Service in 1992 and the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine in 1998 recommended that all women of reproductive age consume 400 µg of synthetic folic acid daily, whether or not they are planning a pregnancy.1,2 These recommendations were issued to prevent spina bifida and anencephaly. By 1997, only 20% of newly pregnant women in the United States were consuming the recommended amount of folic acid. Low-income women, on average, consume vitamin supplements even less frequently.3 We sought to estimate how many low-income women in Atlanta are following the current folic acid recommendations.

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