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. Pediatrics professor Jeff Murray helped 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 born 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 acid. Orange juice, green leafy vegetables, beans, peas and liver are natural sources of folic acid.
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