Importance: Neural tube defects are among the most common congenital malformations in the US, with an estimated 3000 pregnancies affected each year. Many of these neural tube defects are caused by low folate levels in the body. Objective: The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) commissioned a reaffirmation evidence update on the benefits and harms of folic acid supplementation. Population: Persons who are planning to or could become pregnant. Evidence Assessment: The USPSTF concludes that, for persons who are planning to or could become pregnant, there is high certainty that folic acid supplementation has a substantial net benefit to prevent neural tube defects in their offspring. Recommendation: The USPSTF recommends that all persons planning to or who could become pregnant take a daily supplement containing 0.4 to 0.8 mg (400 to 800 μg) of folic acid. (A recommendation).
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