New Information on Spina Bifida

Women with nutritional deficiencies in folic acid or zinc have an increased chance of having a baby with a birth defect known as spina bifida, or open spine.

Now the JAMA reports another condition that is related to spina bifida... that of women who are markedly overweight before pregancy.

For example, a woman who is 5'3" and weighs 165 pounds before pregnancy, has double the risk of having a baby with this birth defect.

Unfortunately folic acid and zinc does not have a protective effect in preventing this condition.

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This page is maintained by David M. Pilasky of the Office of Information Systems and was last updated April 18th, 1996.