Updated Estimates of Neural Tube Defects Prevented by Mandatory Folic Acid Fortification — United States, 1995–2011

Jennifer Williams, MSN1, Cara T. Mai, DrPH1, Joe Mulinare, MD1, Jennifer Isenburg, MSPH1,2, Timothy J. Flood, MD3, Mary Ethen, MPH4, Barbara Frohnert, MPH5, Russell S. Kirby, PhD6 (Author affiliations at end of text)

In 1992, the U.S. Public Health Service recommended that all women capable of becoming pregnant consume 400 µg of folic acid daily to prevent neural tube defects (NTDs) (1). NTDs are major birth defects of the brain and spine that occur early in pregnancy as a result of improper closure of the embryonic neural tube, which can lead to death or varying degrees of disability. READ MORE