A University of Iowa report on birth defects finds the percentage of babies born in Iowa with an abnormality is level with the national average — no higher and no lower. Jeff Murray is a professor of pediatrics at the U-of-I and helped to compile the Iowa Birth Defects Registry. It found about four-point-two babies of every 100 born in Iowa have a defect, something like spina bifida, cleft lip or palate, or a heart disease. Professor Murray says heart defects were the top problem with babies found during the study period of 1994 through ’98. A heart problem was found in about 13-point-5 Iowa babies for every one-thousand born. Murray says the decrease in some birth defects may be attributed to more pregnant women taking folic (FOE’-lick) acid. Natural sources include: orange juice, green leafy vegetables, beans, peas and liver.
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