A live chat event discussing folic acid with Dr. Donald Mattison, Medical Director at March of Dimes in New York City, October 16, 2001. Folic acid taken every day in addition to a good diet before pregnancy and during the development of the embryo, will decrease the risk of neural tube defects significantly.
Get Aware of Folic Acid Benefits, with Dr. Donald Mattison
Live Chat Event with Dr. Donald Mattison, Medical Director at March of Dimes, October 16, 2001. Transcript follows below:
Mollee: Welcome to our first live chat event with Dr. Donald Mattison. He is currently the medical director at the March of Dimes in New York City. He oversees the medical, public health, and scientific basis for the foundation's program.
Today we'll be talking about Folic Acid, why it is important, and what kind of findings Dr. Mattison has discovered during his research. According to the March of Dimes, "Since the benchmark study of 1995, there has been a steady increase in awareness of folic acid among women of childbearing age from 52 percent in 1995 to 79 percent in 2001. Similarly, more women today now say they have heard of the U.S. Public Health Service's recommendation regarding folic acid for women of childbearing age. Women who say they heard or read something about folic acid were asked, unprompted, what they have heard about folic acid. Expressed as a percentage of all women, 19 percent, or about 1 in 5, say that folic acid prevents birth defects." And now, some opening words from Dr. Mattison.
Dr. Donald Mattison: We have known since the early 1990's that folic acid taken before pregnancy and during the development of the embryo, will decrease the risk of neural tube defects -- birth defects of the brain and spinal cord by up to 70%. We have been working with many partners since that time to get this important message to families of reproductive age. Every woman should take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day as well as eat a good diet. So what we have found is that only about 1/3 of women are taking folic acid. One interesting finding was that most women have heard about folic acid -- those who say they have heard of folic acid has increased from about 50% in 1995 to almost 80% in 2001.
Chimmy: Dr. Mattison, if you're prone to having twins like am, (laughs) should you take more folic acid?