New results from a study involving almost a quarter of a million women in China show that taking folic acid to reduce the risk of neural tube birth defects does not increase a woman's chances of giving birth to twins. The study, which appears in the February 1 issue of Lancet, was conducted by HHS' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Peking University Health Sciences Center in China.
Multiple studies conducted during the past several decades have shown the consumption of folic acid before conception and during pregnancy can reduce the incidence of spina bifida and other neural tube defects. However, the results of some earlier, smaller studies raised the question of whether an increase in multiple births can be associated with the consumption of vitamin supplements containing folic acid during pregnancy.
This is the first scientific study of its kind done on a large population of young women with accurate records of their folic acid use before conception and during the early months of pregnancy.
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