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Identify risk factors for neural tube defects:
“Populations at risk. Prevalence rates for neural tube defects have been reported to vary with a wide range of factors including genetics, geography, socioeconomic status, maternal birth cohort, the month of conception, race, nutrition, and maternal health, including maternal age and reproductive history. Women with a close relative (i.e., sibling, niece, nephew) with a neural tube defect, those with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, and women with seizure disorders who are being treated with valproic acid or carbamazepine are at significantly increased risk compared with women without these characteristics. Rates for neural tube defects vary within the United States, with lower rates observed on the west coast than on the east coast.”¹
Healthful diets with adequate folate may reduce a woman's risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord birth defect.* Sources of folate include fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, fortified cereals, and dietary supplements.*
1. Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, https://www.ecfr.gov/