Knowledge-base of Hispanic Women about Neural Tube Defects and Folic Acid Supplementation
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Rates of neural tube defects (NTDs) are up to six times higher than the national average in women of Hispanic ethnicity. This is especially true for Hispanic women of low socio-economic status residing in the border region of South Texas. A definitive reason for these increases is not clear. Genetic and environmental factors affecting the metabolism of folic acid, a nutrient essential for proper neural tube formation, are most often attributed as the source cause. It is clear that a general ignorance towards folic acid intake prior to pregnancy, catalyzed by insufficient pre-natal care, may be to blame. The focus of this study is to represent the current knowledge base of the local Hispanic population of Texas State in order to establish preliminary statistics for the knowledge base of Hispanic women with respect to folic acid supplementation, neural tube defects, and the ability of folic acid supplementation in serving to significantly inhibit the neural tube defects in a statistically significant way. If this study yields a limited knowledge base to the issues stated within the Hispanic population of Texas State, a population whose level of education surpasses that of the border region de facto, then it would certainly suggest the inadequacies of the medical and pre-natal community in properly addressing the issue of educating Hispanic populations about the risks involved with not appropriately supplementing their diets with folic acid.