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Folic Acid Reduces Risk of Miscarriage
19 November 2002
by Wyn Snow, Managing Editor

Researchers at Sweden's Karolinska Institutet have found that low levels of serum folate is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. The study was conducted in cooperation with the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

Their study, published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (288, 15:1867-73, 2002), focused on 1389 women of child-bearing age -- 468 of them having had miscarriages. Women with low folate levels had an increased incidence of miscarriage.

"The results of this study reinforce the importance of folate for women in their childbearing years," said Duane Alexander, MD, director of NICHD. "Not only does taking folic acid before conception prevent the devastating form of birth defects known as neural tube defects, but it also appears to lower the risk of early miscarriage."

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