Study finds near elimination of folate-deficiency anemia

by Jeff Gelski
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ATLANTA – Folate-deficiency anemia is nearly non-existent in a community-dwelling population in the United States, according to results of a study appearing on-line Aug. 14 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The findings come 15 years after the United States implemented mandatory folic acid fortification of enriched grains in 1998.

For the study, researchers from Emory University in Atlanta, the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham determined the prevalence of folate deficiency and folate-deficiency anemia. They used a sample of the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARD) cohort, which is a prospective cohort of 30,239 black and white people living in the contiguous United States.

The researchers measured serum folate concentrations in a random sample of 1,546 REGARDS people age 50 and over with baseline hemoglobin and red blood cell corpuscular volume measurements. Only 2 black women out of the 1,546 people were folate-deficient, and only 1 of them was anemic.

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