ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Cane Use May Cut Progression of Knee Osteoarthritis
High Birth Weight Doubles Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Healthy adults have potential autoimmune disease-causing cells
CANCER
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Diabetes Epidemic Now Poses Challenges for Nursing Homes
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
Rapid Infant Weight Gain Linked to Childhood Obesity
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
5 Reasons why you could gain weight while dieting
Eating Free Range
Many Kids Don't Need the Vitamins They're Taking
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Staying Slim Is Good for the Environment
Are Medical Meetings Environmentally Unfriendly?
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
EYE CARE, VISION
Impotence Drugs Don't Harm Vision: Study
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
FITNESS
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
Basketball Star Details His Struggle With Gout
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
U.S. Prepares for Possible Return of Swine Flu in Fall
Less Education May Mean Poorer Health
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Treat Kids to a Safe Halloween
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
MENTAL HEALTH
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
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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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