SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) — The Utah Department of Health has released a new report saying one of the most common forms of birth defect in our state may be preventable.
The Health Department says the most common neural tube defect in Utah is spina bifida.
While doctors and hospital staff recommend women to take folic acid and prenatal vitamins during their pregnancy, the health department says only about 38 percent of Utah women aged 18-44 take a supplement with folic acid every day.
“Neural tube defects often occur before a woman even realizes she is pregnant. That’s why it’s important for women of childbearing age to take a vitamin with 400mcg of folic acid once a day to prevent neural tube defects,” said Maria Huynh, an epidemiologist with the Utah Department of Health.
The state says it will give away bottles of free multivitamins to 500 non-pregnant women who are between the ages 18 and 44 as part of a prevention effort to stopping neural tube birth defects. If you would like to receive a bottle multivitamins free of charge, you can access the request form here.