ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Body Fat, Muscle Distribution Linked to RA Disability
CANCER
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
Method for Treating Cervical Lesions May Pose Pregnancy Risks
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
CAREGIVING
U.S. Mental Health Spending Rises, But Many Still Left Out
Study of Everest Climbers Questions Oxygen Use
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
DIABETES
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
'Organic' May Not Mean Healthier
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Preparing for a Chlorine Gas Disaster
Ozone Pollution Taking Toll on American Lives
U.S. Diet Needs Heart-Felt Overhaul
EYE CARE, VISION
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
FITNESS
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Be Healthy, Spend Less
Weak Muscles May Cause 'Runner's Knee'
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Wood Fires Can Harm the Youngest Lungs
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Soy May Not Lead to Denser Breasts
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Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year

TUESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- When taken for at least a year before conception, folic acid supplements can help reduce the chance of a premature birth by at least 50 percent, University of Texas researchers say.

Their study, published in the May 12 issue of PLoS Medicine, found no link to a reduction in the odds of giving birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy if the supplements were taken for less than a year before conception. The researchers also found no ties between adding folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, to a woman's diet and any pregnancy complications.

About 12 percent of U.S. babies are born before 37 weeks' gestation, according to a Public Library of Science news release. Premature babies can having breathing issues, learning or developmental disabilities, and are less likely to survive than those born closer to 40 weeks' gestation. Other research has linked low levels of folate (folic acid) in the mother with a shorter length of pregnancy, the release noted.

The new study, which looked at the pregnancies and childbirth experiences of almost 35,000 women, found that those who took folate supplements for at least one year before conception were 70 percent less likely to spontaneously give birth between 20 and 28 weeks of gestation. These same women were also 50 percent less likely to give birth between weeks 28 and 32.

More information

The March of Dimes has more about how to try to prevent premature birth. External Links Disclaimer Logo

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