ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
Alcohol Abuse Can Damage Bones
Stem Cells Might Treat Tough Fractures
CANCER
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
CAREGIVING
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
More Educated Choose Healthier Foods, But Pay More
Vinegar Might Help Keep Off Pounds
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
Radiation Exposure Linked to Aggressive Thyroid Cancers
Exhaust From Railroad Diesel Linked to Lung Ailments
EYE CARE, VISION
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
FITNESS
Moderate Aerobic Exercise Lowers Diabetics' Liver Fat
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Laugh and the World Understands
Eat Light - Live Longer
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Wood Fires Can Harm the Youngest Lungs
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Drink Away Dementia?
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
Any Old Cane Won't Do
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
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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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