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birth defects the solution is research discoveries and data serving the public visitor type
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the solution is research
how we discover causes
the folic acid story
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the solution is research

picture of babyPrevention is the ultimate goal for all diseases. Prevention depends on understanding causesknowledge that can only come from researchso birth defects can be stopped before they occur.

Birth defects bridge two of the most important issues facing policymakers today: infant health and the environment. Because most exposures have not been well studied, the environment remains a source of public concern. Pesticides, air and water quality, chemicals at work or in the home...the public demands answers.

Researchcollecting and analyzing datais the key to answering these questions and preventing birth defects. By understanding causes, we can have an impact on:

bullet Women's health. Study findings can be incorporated into clinical practice, targeting interventions for high-risk groups.
bullet Education. Expectant parents can be warned of potentially hazardous exposures and reassured about those found to be safe.
bullet Public policy. Once identified, harmful exposures can be regulated or removed, reducing the threat to public health.
bullet Healthcare costs. Preventing birth defects will save taxpayers billions of dollars in treatment costs each year.

research victories

History teaches us that yesterday's research provides today's prevention strategies:

bullet In the early 1960s, an epidemic of German measles (rubella) swept the US. Thousands of babies were born with rubella-related birth defects such as cataracts, heart defects and learning disabilities. Now, routine vaccination against German measles has practically eliminated rubella-related problems
bullet In the past decade, studies by the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program and others uncovered a powerful protector against many types of birth defects: folic acid. Since 1998, federal law mandates fortification of many foods with this nutrient. The program seems to be workingneural tube defects are dropping in the US.


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