A March of Dimes survey of 2012 women aged 18 to 45 showed that 40% of American women of childbearing age now receive enough folic acid to help prevent birth defects. For years, the March of Dimes and other organizations have emphasized the need for women to get at least 400 mcg of folic acid to stop neural tube and other birth defects.

During the survey, the women were questioned about their vitamin use, about why they did or did not take folic acid, and about their awareness of the importance of folic acid to prevent birth defects. The results showed that 77% of the women said that they are aware of folic acid, compared with 52% when the same survey was done in 1995. Also, 40% of the women now take folic acid daily in multivitamins, compared with 28% in 1995 and 32% in 2003. (The findings were reported in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, September 17, 2004.)