A national report on how states track birth defects ranks Iowa’s program among the very best in the country.The Iowa Birth Defects Registry monitors the 16-hundred pregnancies a year diagnosed with defects, many of which can be prevented simply through a mother’s improved lifestyle. Experts say expectant women and hopeful moms can help prevent birth defects by taking folic acid and by avoiding tobacco and alcohol. The Registry is based at the University of Iowa. Director Dr. Paul Romitti was pleased with the top grade from the Trust for America’s Health.Iowa’s among only eight states that got A’s, 14 got B’s, there were ten C’s, eleven D’s and nine F’s. Dr. Romitti says one area where Iowa lacked on the report was in the area of state funding. The Trust believes states should pay for at least 25-percent of a registry’s costs. Iowa’s registry gets only ten-percent of its funding from the state, while the other 90-percent is federal money. Dr. Romitti says the A-grade is a reaffirming.Dr. Romitti says the top grade is great but he recognizes there’s still much work to be done to prevent birth defects, which are the leading cause of death in infants under a year old. Other states that got A’s are: Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Texas. The F’s went to: The District of Columbia, Idaho, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.
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