Intended for healthcare professionals


Taking folic acid at start of pregnancy seems to lower risk of cleft lip and palate

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 05 July 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e4614
  1. Muiris Houston
  1. 1Galway

The risk of having a cleft lip or palate seems to be more than four times higher if mothers do not take folic acid in the first three months of pregnancy, a study shows.1

Lack of folic acid early in pregnancy is known to cause neural tube defects such as spina bifida, but this is the first study ever to show a strong association between maternal folic acid intake and the risk of a baby developing cleft lip and cleft palate.

Using data generated from over 11 000 babies representing the 9 month old infant cohort of the Growing Up in Ireland Study, Ms Dervla …

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