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Women's Health Grand Rounds

Folic Acid Update for Healthcare Professionals

Sponsored by the March of Dimes


Each year, approximately 130 babies are born in New York State with neural tube defects, and many additional affected pregnancies result in miscarriage or stillbirth. Studies show that 50-70% of these cases could be prevented if women consumed the proper amount of folic acid before becoming pregnant and during early pregnancy. The goal of this program is to provide accurate information about folic acid and to emphasize the importance of providing a folic acid message to every woman of reproductive age.


Godfrey P. Oakley, Jr., MD, MSPH is a visiting professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA and is retired from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, following a 30-year career as a Medical Epidemiologist with the Public Health Service. He is an internationally recognized expert on pediatric and perinatal epidemiology, with an emphasis on birth defects, developmental disabilities, and genetics.

Moderator: Mary Applegate, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Bureau of Women's Health, NYS Department of Health

After viewing the broadcast, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the correct amount of folic acid that all women capable of becoming pregnant should take to decrease the risk of a neural tube defect-affected pregnancy.
  • List ways women of childbearing age can receive the recommended daily allowance of folic acid.
  • Explain how folic acid works to improve perinatal and other health outcomes.
  • Affirm their role in getting the folic acid message out to women of reproductive age.
  • Accurately advise their patients/clients on the health benefits of folic acid.

Satellite broadcast originally aired Oct. 21, 2003

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Last update: December 4, 2007


Version available via Webstreaming*


     PowerPoint           handouts
     Reference list
     Article (11 pages)
     Article (2 pages)
     Brochure (Spanish)
     Folic Acid Friendly           Office
     Poster (zip file)


Other broadcasts - Women's Health grand rounds





*Requires basic RealOne Player available as a free download

**Document in PDF format; requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.